Diane Becker, "Country Life"

Only two months ago, I had never heard of the term “coronavirus.” What a difference 60 days can make.

Our high school daughter practiced Facetiming with the rest of her classmates today to get ready to have high school from home if the coronavirus is rampant in Norfolk.

I didn’t know teachers could do this, which makes me think they could have virtual class on snow days, too. Interesting.

Here are a few more things I’ve learned from Covid-19.

1. While washing your hands, you should sing Happy Birthday or say the Lord’s Prayer to make sure you’re washing long enough. The new thing is to sing “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley or “Dancing Queen” by Abba, which will also do the trick.

All this singing in restrooms, and we’re still probably not getting our hands clean enough.

2. I’ve never been on a cruise ship, and now I don’t think I ever will. A number of cruise ships have been quarantined because many of the people on board have gotten the coronavirus. When I catch a glimpse of a photo of a cruise ship now, all I see is a big floating island of germs.

3. The elbow bump is a good way to prevent shaking someone’s germ-filled hand. In China, people are touching toes when they meet, like a penguin hello. Someday we’ll show our grandchildren the old-time practice of firmly shaking hands.

4. Most hand sanitizers contain 70% rubbing alcohol, so people are literally making their own by mixing two parts rubbing alcohol with one-part aloe vera. Add 10 drops of that scented oil you have lying around, and you’ve got one great cheap germ killer.

5. “Self-quarantine” is not the fun time at home binge watching Netflix that I thought it was. If you think you might have been exposed to the coronavirus, you’re supposed to stay in a room separate from your family for 14 days, daily wiping down surfaces such as “counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables,” according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

No visitors are allowed (not even a pet), and don’t even think of leaving your room for a Scooters run. You thought you knew what cabin fever is, but you really don’t.

6. The Center for Disease Control recommends “social distancing” or leaving at least 3 feet between you and the next person when you are out and about. Three feet is farther than you think. People are going to have to talk louder if I’m that far from them.

I’m just hoping that all this will have blown over by summer. I’d like to fly to Pennsylvania to see our daughter, and I’m not sure I can get on the plane with all those people sneezing and coughing within 3 feet. Yeah, I hope this all gets over with quick.


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