Germs and Viruses - Keeping Them at Bay

Updated: Aug 31

Masks, masks, masks everywhere! Maybe Isasnora should wear a mask. Click to listen to Isasnora Sneezes.


Are you in school, yet? The big change will be students and teachers wearing masks – not Halloween masks, but the fabric things over our noses, lips and chins. Some people have an entire wardrobe of Covid masks.

Do you have a mask? What color is it? Does your mask make your face feel itchy? Mine does.

One thing I notice when I’m wearing a mask is that when I yawn or sneeze I do not have to cover my mouth. I worry that once masks are no longer necessary, I might cough without covering my mouth. Ewe.


Another thing that will be different in school is you'll not be sitting close to each other. Six feet apart is the social distancing space. Lunches might be different. You may have to eat in your classroom. Some of your friends might be attending school online. So many changes all because of a tiny, tiny virus.


If you had told Isasnora and others during the Medieval days about tiny viruses and germs, they would not have believed you. You would have been laughed out of the cathedral (a very large church). Many people believed sickness came about because of something bad someone had done (1).


This might lead us to assume that Medieval people did not wash their hands. Why would they want to without the vast selection of yummy smelling hand soaps? If you do an Internet search, however, you will find many articles that claim that hand washing was a common practice (2).


So they washed their hands, but maybe were not very careful with other hygiene practices. I used to think we had much better hygiene than people from long ago, but this Covid thing makes me wonder. How could it have gotten so out of hand? Maybe the media is hyping it. I don't know. But maybe we can learn from it.



Image by ivabalk from Pixabay

Washing hands has been and will always be important. Not just a swipe under the water but vigorous rubbing with soap.

If you use bar soap, and there's dirt on it after you washed your hands, you have not washed properly. If you washed your hands, then left a spot on the towel, you have not washed your hands properly.

Hand washing should be done not only after trips to the bathroom or before eating a meal, but after coming home from school or other places. Washing your hands after blowing your nose or touching your shoes is also a good practice (I learned this while working in a hospital).

Once we get hand washing down, remember to cover your mouth.

This brings us back to the masks. There are a lot of adults arguing back and forth about these masks. Though I find them uncomfortable, I see them as an opportunity to protect others. There are people we see every day that might have some type of illness that Covid would make much worse. Sharing your germs is not the kind of sharing our family and friends want.


Will we always have to wear masks? I do not have the answer, but if you are getting over some illness, it might not be a bad idea to wear a clean mask. If you are sick, please stay home and get better.


Do these little steps, but try not to get too carried away. You do not have to spray everything with hand sanitizer. Remember, even with our best practices, you and I can still get sick. Simple cleaning and sanitizing is important, but you can't spend your entire day worrying about it. Try to have fun and don't let the germs get the best of you - on your body or inside your mind.


Thank you for reading!


Cheers!

References

(1) Diseases in the Middle Ages

(2) Our Enemy Hands

Medieval Hygiene

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2020 Carol L. Paur

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