It’s All About the Flour Power

Well, this couldn’t suck more could it? Yes, I get it things could be worse, much worse. So, slow your roll on sending me that email. But in terms of things being suck worthy I’m going to with confidence say Covid-19 rates pretty high.

Cheers though to all of the people out there who are all about taking the pandemic and putting a positive spin on it.

There’s the Instagram and Facebook posts of people celebrating family time with some stunning photography of scenic walks in the woods to festive trampoline “jumps for joy.” Then you have the very photogenic family meal photos where people, people much better than me, are using the lock down to cook amazing meals after doing massive amounts of home organization projects to turn their house into a snuggly “quarantine haven.”

These are good people. These are just not my people because I’m going to confess that I’ve hidden the last of my family’s Charmin Ultra Soft for myself. The rest of my family can use the one ply eight pack I snagged from the Dollar Store because right now I don’t consider them three ply worthy.

I’ve also taken to having very in-depth conversations with family members about flour. Yes, flour. My son wanted to make some homemade bread. This led to me swooping into the kitchen and forcibly grabbing the canister of flour out of his hand.

 I had to explain to him that bread took five to six cups of flour. Not only that but if he made bread that would mean we would be down to one packet of yeast.

As a family with weeks left in lockdown we needed to save our flour for more deserving causes like chocolate chip cookies, cakes, and cinnamon rolls. My son was confused about not only my newfound passion for flour but also my rationing. I clued him in that flour and yeast were both on the top 10 list of things hoarders bought in bulk and currently there was none to found.

He was skeptical of my claim incredulously asking, “Why would people buy all the flour and yeast? Do that many people bake anymore? What happened to gluten being the enemy?”

I told him those were all excellent questions that I had no answers to except that some people are monumental jerks and enjoyed the apparent thrill of cleaning out the grocery stores. I curse them and their many, many, five-pound bags of flour. May they all move up two pant sizes during the lock down. Also, while I’m at it may their plumbing clog from abundant toilet paper usage.

One thing that I did sincerely try to put one of those positive spins on is the family dinner. How lucky I am to have all my chicks home? What could be more uplifting than sharing a meal every evening? Umm, a lot of things.

Cooking dinner every-single-night is not a blast. Neither is cleaning the kitchen. Add in a pandemic and it can be depressing. I had to make a rule that there would be no talking about the coronavirus at dinner. It was making me anxious.

The off shoot of that was that no one had anything else to blab about. We were all working or doing school from home meaning not much was going in our lives. It was either talk about the state of the world or stare at each other. So, back to Covid-19 it was.

I need to Instagram that perfect family moment. All of us sitting around the table looking scared while I hug my last remaining bag of flour and desperately hope no one has found my Charmin stash.

Dear Snarky – I’m Getting Attitude For Taking a Pass On Our Family Easter Dinner

Dear Snarky,

 My parents and sister are acting like spoiled brats and being totally clueless about social distancing.

 Not only are my parents, who are in their late 60s, still going to the grocery store almost every day like they don’t have a care in the world but my sister and her six kids are hanging out with my parents.

She’s even dropping her kids off at their house so they can babysit because she needs “a break” and her Bunko group still got together last week. 

 It’s like the coronavirus is happening to other people. My sister had the nerve to actually call me “selfish” for saying there was no way I was going to attend a family Easter dinner. She also said that I was ignoring my parents.

 I’m not ignoring anyone on purpose I’m following the rules. I also have a child with asthma so you can bet we’re hunkered down at home.

 Why am I being made to feel like the bad guy for sheltering in place? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

 Signed, Ticked Off

Dear Ticked,

 I don’t really have any words of comfort for dealing with idiot family members except know that you are not alone AND that this is the time where you need to unapologetically stick to the rules.

 I would also, and I’m sure you have already done this, explain to your parents and sister why these stay home mandates are so important. Perhaps graphs or a pie chart might help or pictures of overwhelmed hospitals.

 Sadly, the bottom line is it’s hard to herd idiots. Some humans are just predisposed to be morons who thrive at picking and choosing what they want to believe like they’re at an all you can eat buffet of stupidity.

 You can only control your own situation and I applaud you for following the rules. Stay strong and don’t let your family bully or manipulate you into doing anything else. Lives depend on us staying home. You’re doing the right thing.

 P.S. Your sister sounds like a total tool.

Covidiots

When we make it through the other side of this Covid-19 nightmare I’m hoping future generations won’t look back and say, “What a bunch of idiots.”

Because that’s what I’m thinking right now – idiots. Spoiled, selfish, willfully clueless stooges.

I don’t remember ever being more disappointed in humans. I’m literally going to go running in the streets screaming, while maintaining a safe space six feet distance from other pedestrians, if I hear one more person justify taking their spring break trip in the midst of a pandemic because they had “already paid for it” or “didn’t know it was that bad.”

Are-You-Kidding-Me? You knew it was “that bad” because when the majority of spring breaks happened almost every single college and university in the country had closed down because of the coronavirus. Institutes of higher learning don’t take the unprecedented action of sending more than 20 million students home on a lark. They do it because things are bad, tragically bad.

And that “we already paid for it” argument, well, guess what? The rest of us are now paying for it. It doesn’t matter that you posted on Facebook that you “came home healthy” or your teens are “sunburn and feeling great” because you can have Covid-19 and not know it nor show symptoms and yet you can still spread it with a vengeance. And P.S. as a citizen of the world you should be informed enough to already have this knowledge.

Also, if you have a college aged student that you are supporting financially and you shared on social media that you “can’t tell a 19-year-old to not go on spring break” I’m going to conjecture that the coronavirus might not be your biggest problem.

The fact is the spring breakers knew all this and still chose to go for no better reason than that they wanted to. Damn the science and those pesky guidelines. Those apparently are for other people.

There are friends I’m deeply disappointed with because they’ve been so self-indulgent. Please note these are people I thought were very intelligent who valued science. But I guess science is now something you pick and choose when to believe as befits your lifestyle or spring break travel plans.

If I sound harsh sorry not sorry because I know I’m not alone. There are now therapy websites giving suggestions for how to deal with family and friends that are not following the Center for Disease Control guidelines. #covidiots.

But what about strangers that have chosen being oblivious as their current course of action during this siege? The people who apparently have zero spatial awareness and no compunction about getting within kissing distance of you while in the self-check-out line or the people treating a trip to the grocery store like it’s a family reunion?

Public health officials and grocery stores are pleading with people to only send one person per family. Why is that so hard to understand? The grocery store is not a “fun outing” it’s a tactical Ninja maneuver where you want to avoid people and get in and out as quickly as possible.

And I feel immensely stabby when I still see people still clinging to the “It’s just like the flu. The flu kills more people” mantra. Are these people so brain impaired that they live in a constant state of denial or do they cling to falsehoods in an effort to justify their behavior of doing whatever they damn well please?

While I’m on the topic of denial let’s talk about all the claims of “fake news” or the “hysterical media.” My thoughts on this are if you think the news is fake or the media is blowing the coronavirus out of proportion than check out the World Health Organization or the CDC websites. Also, here’s the deal about throwing around the phrase “fake news” – just because you don’t like the news doesn’t make it fake.

For instance, I’m overweight. That is a fact. Do I like being told that? No. But it doesn’t make the information any less accurate. So, just because you are choosing not to believe the Covid-19 data doesn’t erase its scientific merit and calling it fake doesn’t give you a magical shield of protection it just makes you an egocentric ignoramus. Quite possibly an ignoramus that is not going to follow best practices and result in us being under lockdown well into the summer.

As for the hoarders I can’t go there right now. It’s hurts my heart too much. I currently don’t have the emotional bandwidth to fully digest this level of selfishness.

Perhaps, nothing symbolized to me people’s lack of concern for anyone but themselves more than when I found two used latex gloves in the parking lot of my grocery store. The gloves were by the cart corral and I can only surmise that this gloved person upon returning their cart, took off the gloves and threw them on the pavement because they didn’t need them anymore nor did they want the germ laden gloves in their car.

So, bye-bye gloves and hello some overworked grocery store employee having to pick up your pandemic detritus.

I’m urging everyone, myself very much included, to try to do better so that not only do we come out of this healthy but with a newfound sense of compassion and intelligence that supersedes are own immediate wants and needs.

 

 

Hand Wringing About Hand Washing

The coronavirus has taught me a lot of things. For example, who knew that after spending five plus decades on this planet I really didn’t know how to wash my hands. I always considered myself an exemplary hand washing. But come to find out I was, at best, lackluster.

My problem area it seems was in the length of my hand washing. I was a soap and go girl. A hand washing sprinter if you will when apparently I needed to be a marathon runner in the hand hygiene event.

I‘m estimating I spent 10 seconds at the sink. Two seconds for soap application, six seconds for the scrub-a-dub-dub of it all and another two seconds for the drying sequence. I was shocked to discover that I should have been doubling my sink time.

My hand washing failure so disturbed me that I felt compelled to do some personal hygiene math. If you take the average amount of times a day a person washes their hands and combine that with my years on earth I have washed my hands incorrectly more than 150,000 times.

The shame is real my friends.

I furthered grossed myself out with the realization my now 20 second washed hands can’t stay off my face. Like, I literally can’t stop touching my face. I blame this on the fact that I’m also a hand talker.

Yes, I’m one of those people who uses their hands a lot while talking and one of the characteristics of being a hand talker is that you’re also a serial face toucher.

I certainly knew I was a hand talker because it’s a genetic trait. There’s not one person I’m related to who doesn’t love the added conversation oomph of using their hands to further their communicative ability.

A conversation without using your hands is like toast without butter – totally lacking in any real flavor satisfaction. Unfortunately, those hands also like landing on the face.

Yesterday I counted myself touching my face 13 times in less than 30 minutes and this was when I was earnestly trying to not touch my face. Never mind that I was home alone and the only person I was talking to was myself.

Another lesson that has become apparent is one that thankfully is not about my personal failings but instead is a shout out to my Grandma Stella. Because of this woman’s greatness I was a bleach warrior before it was mandatory.

Yes, while everyone was scrambling to buy disinfectants I had three gallons of bleach in my laundry room because I heart bleach. I even have “bleach clothes” that I wear when doing housework because as any good bleach aficionado will tell you things aren’t clean unless they’re bleach clean.

This I learned from Grandma Stella who should go down in history as the world’s most compulsive cleaner. As a young child I would follow her from room-to-room as she would use bleach and a toothbrush to clean every surface of her home.

This wonderful woman taught me the power of Clorox and thanks to her I never fell prey for all those smell good cleaners that were low on sodium hypochlorite and high on essential oils.

Hmm, based on this memory maybe that hygiene math I did earlier is wrong. Because if I’ve had my hands basted in bleach while I‘ve done thousands upon thousands hours of housework this means that my hands have been a lot cleaner than I’ve thought.

Yes, let’s go with that. Now I feel a lot better which is a good thing because I just touched my face – again.