Monday, April 6, 2020

Growing up in a clean family has its benefits

So here I am again, writing in the midst of an epidemic. I never thought I'd write that as such a horrible illness has never directly affected life so close here before.

So far I'm not sick but I am nervous about it. For the most part I'm staying at home, only popping out quickly to grab groceries every several weeks or to go for a walk by myself.

I will say that I'm glad that I was brought up the way that I was: in a (basically) clean household. My mom is not a germ freak but she was adamant about not being gross. I'll list some rules of our house. Even as I navigate through my own place, being extra cognizant of what I'm doing or the surfaces I'm touching, I keep coming up with more things that we were taught.

1. Do not wear shoes in the house (we had white carpeting growing up).
2. Do not ever double dip or drink directly from the jug, even if it's your own drink and you'll come back to it later.
3. Don't stick your hand into the bag of chips/bowl of popcorn. Get your own bowl and pour some in.
4. Try not to touch door handles or other public surfaces. If you absolutely have to, either use a piece of your clothing or one finger instead.
5. Wash your hands and the surface where you'll be cooking well.
6. Don't touch your face when cooking.
7. Wash your hands after petting an animal. (This did loosen up a bit after we got a dog but we'd definitely do it before eating etc.)
8. Put silverware in the dish basket handle up and before unloading the dishwasher, wash your hands. Do not ever handle the eating portion of the silverware.
9. Do not put your fingers inside a glass or serving dish.
10. Clean up after yourself right away.

This is all that I can think of right now. Again, I'll say that my mom was not a freak about germs but she was brought up by someone who trained to be a baker and my grandparents also practiced safe food handling techniques so I think that's where a lot of this came in. I think it can be more difficult to try to remind yourself to do these things later on so I'm glad that I learned this while growing up. Knowing these things can't totally insulate me from the risk of COVID-19 but at least it gives a little bit more of a chance. Having the ability to work from home and to self-isolate has also been extremely important.

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