It’s the life-changing talk of the world.
Here in San Miguel, the ex-pat community is ‘hunkering down’, listening closely to medical advisories, canceling meetings, and communicating via Internet and phone with friends and family rather than face to face encounters.
I’m guessing the same thing is happening world-wide as we face the realities of a pandemic.
Maybe it is my age, perhaps it is I’m paying more attention, but this is the first time I’ve been acutely aware of epidemics. As a teenager I was hospitalized several years in a row with the Asian flu, that would have been back in the 50s. I didn’t think of it as being all that serious, I just knew each winter I seemed to be susceptible to the virus.
Other outbreaks of deadly diseases such as HIV, AIDS, Eboli, Whooping Cough, Polio have not affected my immediate family members, although my grandmother contracted Polio as a child. My lack of experience in taking precautions is forcing me to modify my behavior, which is a challenge.
Washing my hands every half hour or so. Not touching my face. Avoiding human contact. This is not normal for me. If someone took a video of me during an 8-hour period, I would be aghast at how many times a day my fingers roam around my mouth, nose, eyes, and ears. I put my hand on my chin. I rub my eyes, I finger my lips, I scratch my face. I never realized how active my hands are: petting the dogs, touching my face, working on my computer, touching my face, fiddling with the TV remote, touching my face, rummaging through the refrigerator, and touching my face once again.
When did I start having a digital fetish with my face?
Whenever the habit began, it is now fully ingrained into my everyday routine and behavior.
Currently I’m holed up in my house with my two doglets, trying to avoid human contact. Not an easy thing to do. I am a social being, enjoy talking with folks on the street, visiting new restaurants, sharing quiet conversations with strangers on a park bench, hugging a friend.
Now there are signs everywhere that remind us: DO NOT TOUCH, STAY 6 FEET APART, AVOID CONTACT!
I should have paid more attention during my teenage years to the Baptist minister who railed against dancing. I thought he was warning us about thoughts that would lead to exciting but forbidden activity.
Apparently, he was telling us how to avoid the spread of viruses. It had nothing to do with sex. Who knew?