I, as you are too, are probably frequently reading, to wash your hands! I thought, “They are preaching to the choir. I have been a believer and doer of this hand washing thing for decades.” A couple of decades ago my children and husband all came down with strep throat. I consoled myself that my fastidious hand-washing is what spared me from getting strep throat as well. (I have since learned some people are immune to strep, and that may be why I don’t get it.)
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to sing that proverbial ABC’s song and show myself I put in those recommended twenty seconds. I was unpleasantly surprised to find I would usually stop around the letter “J”! I realized my routine was to not turn on the cold water and stop hand washing when the water became too hot for me. And that was around the letter “J”. Wow, did that burst my self-held beliefs about my great hygiene practices! With practicing the twenty-second guideline, I actually had the time to do all of the hand-washing routine I scrimped on, like washing the backs of my hands, and in between my fingers. And yes, the fingernails! Here’s one video I thought particularly helpful.
No one I know or have been in contact with lately has had exposure to our pandemic virus. But I was sick with a sinus infection and have decided to stay home until the symptoms have dissipated. It turns out to be a great time to start better practices to reduce sharing our germs. At this point, I have become a more thorough hand washer.
It also is a great time to examine other long-held beliefs. About what’s important, what/who we value and the difference between wants and needs. And how we fit in to the society and world. Six years ago, we were traveling in southeastern Colorado, hoping to reach a campsite new to us. I was navigating, and missed the highway sign that indicated the highway going south had turned due east. We drove around ten miles before my husband and I both realized something was wrong, and that we were quickly heading to New Mexico. Although there were few spots, we located a place to turn around and head north. Probably making up for lost time, my husband sped up on the practically empty highway. He was soon pulled over by a state trooper, who informed him how much he was speeding and that he was getting a speeding ticket. The state trooper then told my husband that driving the speed limit was doing his part to keep the roads safe. I would have forgotten about this, indeed, I don’t really remember hearing the trooper say it. But my husband took the exhortation to heart, and has referenced it in driving and other parts of his life since then. Today, I am content to do my part by washing my hands correctly, and following our governor’s stay-at-home orders.