The hill

“Would you like to meet up this evening?” he asked me. “I want to show you the holiday pictures and my new car.”

“Sure,” I answered, “if you do an antigen self test beforehand. I’d love to meet. It’s been a while.”

“But I just returned from holiday on Friday,” he said, “and I already did a test then. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t bring things back to the workplace.”

“Yeah. No. I’d appreciate a fresh test, especially because you just returned! With an incubation time of three to ten days, I am not particularly interested in knowing whether you were negative a day after your return. I want to make sure we’re all negative the moment we meet.”

“Fine. I’ll do it.”


*Several hours of silence*

“Robin. I have been thinking about this all day. I strongly disagree with the fact that you want me to test myself. I don’t stand behind all this nonsense. I just received my test results from two days ago, and they are valid another 48 hours. I will not shove any stick into my face. I don’t do this with people that visit me either. I refuse to test. People need to respect differences of opinion. So, will we meet this evening or not?”

“No. If you don’t test, we don’t meet. I told you this before. Remember that I did not ask you to meet either, for this very reason. So. No. We will not meet. No discussion. Have a good evening.”

I can’t believe that this is a conversation I just had today. The second day in a row, only with a different brother. I sometimes ask myself: Is this really a hill I’m willing to die on?

This figure (from ‘Our world in data’) clearly illustrates that I’m not too unreasonable in my demands.

Yes. This is absolutely a hill I’m willing to die on. I guess my two brothers spend their days on another hill. And they are prepared to do the same.

Do I understand it? Nope. Hearing that these guys are readily taking tests to get their hair cut, or to go for beers, or to protect their colleagues all seems like a noble act at first glance, but turns into awfully selfish behavior when you hear that the willingness is not there to test so they can see a brother, a two year-old nephew or a baby niece after seven months of not seeing each other. Where does that place us in the ranks of importance? Bottom shelf for sure.

Does it hurt? It stings a little – but my skin is turning awfully thick these days.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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