In the face of COVID-19 and the reactions of the world’s governments and citizens, I’ve decided that I MUST keep my attitude fairly jovial. I shake my head at the idea that we need to be reminded of basic common hygiene habits and common courtesies.
A year ago, my husband and I entered the world of home dialysis. After the surgery to insert a dialysis port to carry the dialysate into his peritoneal cavity, we began training. I had to be more careful in cleansing (I had to wear rubber gloves, but he did not.) than he did because the “germs” on his hands were his germs. (Note: I scratched my head several times on that philosophy.)
In training, before we mixed a solution of bleach and water and literally wiped down the surfaces in the room and the bathroom sink that were going to be near or used when we hooked up the dialysate bag to his port; the ventilation system and room fans were turned off, windows were shut, and the bedroom door was closed. (No plants in the room either.) Then, when we were ready to begin the connection process, we put on a mask, washed our hands with anti-bacterial soap for ONE minute, and followed with hand-sanitizer. Then the rubber gloves.
I know that sounds like hyper-paranoia, BUT the idea of having him contract an infection that could land him in the hospital for several weeks or even months was something we didn’t want to entertain. We are, temporarily, free from that level of sanitation, but if we transition to home hemodialysis, it will return.
In the face of COVID-19, however, hand washing is more than a basic necessity, and in our house, we have taken it a bit further.
Last night, we celebrated my youngest step-daughter’s birthday. (The gathering consisted of of 4 humans and 2 dogs in the house, an acceptable number in today’s self-quarantined or shelter-in-place edict.) Both she and her boyfriend are still working so they were given specific instructions to take showers and change clothes before coming over in an attempt to eliminate the spread of the Corona Virus. In fact, after hitting up the local Walmart for toothpaste, mouthwash, and the eye drops the doctor had suggested, I dumped my clothes into the washer and took a shower.
We didn’t gather at the dining room table; we sat in the living room at an acceptable distance away from each other. After eating from a local restaurant’s carry-out because we are now cautious about being around those we don’t know who might have or be carriers of COVID-19, we shared humor from the various social medias that we participate in. (Note: The restaurants, as of yesterday, are now carry-out or delivery only.)
One of the symptoms AND ways to spread this virus is by sneezing and coughing. Why do people have to be told to sneeze into their elbow or shoulder, or inside their shirt? However, it is also allergy season, and I would appreciate it if people wouldn’t assume that just because I sneezed, I was sick. At least here in Tennessee the Bradford pear trees and the red buds are in bloom. Thank you Mother Nature.
In an age where social media and technology connect us without ever leaving our homes, we are less alone when quarantined than in the past.
*Musicians are creating virtual concerts.
*Schools are going online.
*Families are connecting via online meeting groups.
*Church has gone online.
*People are using social media to explore their creativity. These parodies are great: My Corona Home (sung to “Kokomo”), We Didn’t Spread the Virus (sung to “We Didn’t Start the Fire”), My Corona (sung to “My Sharona”), Songs for Social Distancing, and even Bohemian Virus Rhapsody (sung to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”).
I doubt that we will ever know the TRUE origin of this virus that has so many people in a panic. I doubt that we will ever know the TRUE statistics of the virus since you can have the virus and be asymptomatic. We can track the number of people tested. We can track the number of people that are tested who test positive. We can track the number of people whose test comes back negative. We can track the number of people who are hospitalized from the effects of this virus. AND we can track the number of people who die from this virus, most likely. But the number that would give us the most information about the extent of the virus, those who show mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, is un-trackable.
So, for now . . .
- stay at home
- wash your hands
- use social media and technology to check up on relatives, friends, and neighbors
- use your time at home to explore your creative side, read more, or even deep clean
- take a moment and count to ten before reacting to anything that is frustrating you right now
- and maybe slow down and appreciate what you do have