Howdy, howdy! How’s everyone doing? I’m doing pretty well. I’ve basically trained for this my whole life. After all, I was homebound (different from homeschooling in that the school district sent a teacher to my house twice a week for lessons and to act as a go-between for me and the teachers at the schools I should’ve been attending/was enrolled in) from 4th through 12th grades because my mom was paranoid I’d get sick and die. With my lungs, I guess it was a legitimate fear. But basically, I’ve spent most of my life avoiding respiratory illnesses. Fingers crossed I can avoid this one too, but like pretty much everything else in this world, if I’m going to get it, I’m going to get it. There are some precautions you can take, not only to avoid it yourself, but to avoid spreading it to people who are more at-risk of hospitalization and death than you.
Don’t: Touch people. No handshakes, no hugs, no kisses. If you know someone is at a higher risk level, even bumping of fists or elbows or anything else should only be done with permission. If you’re close enough to touch me, you’re close enough to get my germs and to give me yours.
Do: Bring back bowing and curtsying (whichever you prefer). Wave from afar. Jump up and down and squee. Dramatic blowing of kisses from an appropriate distance. All of these are wonderful greetings and farewells. Be creative. And if you need to talk to your soft-spoken friends, now is a good time to sit across the room from them and text back and forth instead of getting in close to them.
Do: Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands more often. Decontaminate things like doorknobs and remote controls and keyboards and phones. Especially if other people live with you. And don’t give me that look about cleaning your phone. Do you even realize how many weird surfaces your phone touches and you never bother cleaning it? You put it on your desk at work, on restaurant tables, you drop it on the ground, etc. And it’s usually face down, then it rings and you put it on your face. That’s almost worse than not washing your hands.
Don’t: Assume people are practicing good hygiene. People are disgusting. I’m sorry, but it’s true. And it’s why you need to take extra care, especially if you’re a face toucher. It’s impossible not to touch your own face. I know. So just remember people are gross and you need to be cautious.
This one’s more for your own mental health, but:
Don’t: Let self-isolation drive you nuts. Step away from the news with all its doom and gloom. Avoid the rabbit hole of researching statistics. No one really knows what’s going on. They won’t know until everything has calmed down. Don’t fall into that pit of panic and despair.
Do: Find a new hobby. If you’re comfortable getting deliveries and have some cash to spare, order some stuff to start knitting or build a model boat or buy some origami paper or whatever. If not, there are tutorials for everything on the Interwebz. Teach yourself yoga or how to do the rumba or something. Read a book. Write a book. Do something fun with your unexpected time alone. Got a spouse or roomie or whatever? Rope them into doing something with you. Want to act out that one-man play you wrote in high school? Now you have a captive audience. Do the thing!
Basically, this is a stressful time for everyone. The economy is going to hell. Forced shut-downs aren’t helping curb the panic and will probably ruin a lot of small businesses. People are hoarding toilet paper for some godforsaken reason. Others are acting like this is all some big conspiracy. It’s all pretty ridiculous no matter how you look at it. Is the general reaction to this thing overkill? Probably. But it’s what’s happening and we all have to deal with it in our own way. Mine is hermitting, skepticism, and sarcasm. What’s yours? As always, feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages!