Welcome back! Last week we talked about why we wake up at night. If you missed that blog and would like to catch up, click HERE
This week, we are going to talk about staying well in a sick world. This could be a very wide subject, but for the purpose of this blog, we are going to cover the sickness that is viral and bacterial. Da bugs.
I can’t remember the last time I was ill, and by ill, I mean sick with an infection. I credit my mama with my ability to stay well. She not only gave my body a good foundation of healthy food when I was growing up, but she taught me how to keep the house clean, and I don’t mean dusted. So this blog is dedicated to “what my mama said“.
In order to get sick, there has to be a point of entry. Our bodies are amazing and can keep out a lot of bad stuff. We sneeze to expel particles, our eyes water to clear them of irritants, our lungs cough out the bad stuff, our skin keeps chemicals at bay, and our intestines filter the good from the bad, sometimes ending in, well, let’s just say a short term marriage to the throne.
This is why the CDC keeps telling us to wash our hands and not touch our faces. Rubbing the eyes, picking the nose, and licking that cake batter off of our fingers is what does us in. Open cuts on the skin that aren’t washed and cared for properly are another point of entry. You get what I’m saying, right? The virus and bacteria don’t just knock and we open the door…or do we?
We have a routine at the Tate Estate that I adhere to, regardless of the time of year. Even before COVID-19, we engaged in a ritual that in my opinion, keeps us very healthy.
Our first line of defense is to sanitize our frequently touched items daily. Yes, daily. If you incorporate this into your routine, like brushing your teeth, it actually goes very quickly and you don’t recognize that it’s taking up too much time. If the time it takes to do this really bothers you, think of the time and money you lose when you get sick. That should give you perspective.
When I say sanitize the things you touch daily, I’m talking about cell phones, keyboards, your mouse, grab bars in the bathroom, doorknobs, sink faucets, toilet handles, handles in the kitchen on the fridge and oven, knobs on things like sewing machines, and once in the car, the steering wheel, gear shift, radio knob and door handles. Remote controls to the TV and the arms to your favorite leather recliner should also get a scrub here and there. We buy a new toothbrush monthly and toss the old one.
I once saw a demonstration that showed the comparisons between hand sanitizer, hand wipes, antibacterial soap, and just plain old soap and warm water. Guess which one was most effective? Regular old soap and hot water. Isn’t that something? I saw it with my own eyes. The hand wipes just smeared the germs around. This kinda grossed me out as my elderly parents would take little “wipes” with them to the restaurant, and instead of washing their hands, they would use the wet wipe. I was never able to convince them not to use them. They lived to be 90 and 95, so what do I know?
Because of this demonstration, however, I don’t use products, just soap and hot water. I’m a little more lax in the car because I’m too lazy to take the rag to the car, so in the car, I use hand sanitizer.
Here’s what the CDC says about the most effective way to de-germ your hands:
“Germs are everywhere! They can get onto hands and items we touch during
daily activities and make you sick. Cleaning hands at key times with soap and
water or hand sanitizer is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid
getting sick and spreading germs to those around you.
There are important differences between washing hands with soap and water
and cleaning them with hand sanitizer. For example, alcohol-based hand
sanitizers don’t kill ALL types of germs, such as a stomach bug called norovirus,
some parasites, and Clostridium difficile, which causes severe diarrhea. Hand
sanitizers also may not remove harmful chemicals, such as pesticides and
heavy metals like lead. Handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs,
pesticides, and metals on hands. Knowing when to clean your hands and which
method to use will give you the best chance of preventing sickness“.
If a daily routine is too extreme for you, try doing this weekly. Anything helps.
Now, on to phase two. My mama believed fresh air was vital to a healthy home. Once a day (I try to do this at night while everyone is asleep) open the windows. Air the joint out. Yes, even in the winter. Maybe especially in the winter.
Next, keep your bedding clean. You spend a lot of time there.
When out and about, and you have to use the dreaded public restroom, be sure and keep that towel you used to dry your hands. You can reuse it to open the door before you leave the room. There will be many that left ahead of you that didn’t wash their hands at all. You don’t need other people’s feces in your mouth. You just don’t. You will have to trust me on that one.
One last thing that I’m going to add in because mama didn’t live through this pandemic, so how could she have warned us? When wearing masks, keep the mask clean and wear it over the entirety of your face, including your nose. If yer nose is hangin’ outside of the mask, you aren’t wearin’ da mask.
So that’s it. That’s my recipe for staying well. I’m sure you, my dear readers, will have something to add to this list, and I welcome that feedback. Be sure and post your routines in the comment section of this blog located below the share icons.
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