More than a year ago…

The beach glass is back in my bathroom sink.

More than a year ago, I started closing the toilet lid before flushing so that my waste would not be aerosolized and spread throughout the bathroom. Because my toilet seat was a slow close type, it soon broke from being pushed down to fast. So one of my many Amazon deliveries last year was a replacement seat. And I developed the habit of getting up, pushing the lid downward, washing my hands, puttering in the bathroom, and then flushing when the lid finally closed.

More than a year ago, I started spritzing my front door knob and lock handles with hand sanitizer every time I touched them. I hung a tiny bottle with a rubbery Baby Yoda on it on my bag. I apply Yoda gel every time I get back in the car. I apply it from dispensers in stores. I wipe down shopping cart handles with the wipes every store provides. I used to be a critic of hand sanitizer. An epidemiologist I worked with hated seeing the stuff in the hospital, saying that it leads people to think it’s as good as hand washing. It’s absolutely not. Hand sanitizer does not kill everything, so you end up with evil critters in gel on your hands. Of course, the evil critters in a hospital are usually a lot nastier than the ones on shopping cart handles.

More than a year ago, I started singing two and a half verses of “Baby Shark” while I wash my hands and ponder how the whole singing as you wash system works when people don’t sing at the same pace.

More than a year ago, the pile of cloth face masks on the chair in the entry started to grow. First I ordered a few from some discounter in China. Then I ordered from Buff USA, which sells the other face covering I use–buffs (neck gaiters). I also ordered filter inserts, and then learned that they were hard to find. I felt like a TP hoarder. Then Crazy Shirts offered masks in tropical prints. I ordered a hard clear plastic one and decided it’s awful. Then a relative made them from beautiful batik fabric and sent me some. Another cheap vendor had one that looks like my parrot. And during President Biden’s inauguration I saw a woman wearing the prettiest one yet, and the camera lingered long enough for me to read the prominent label. It was for charity, so I bought two. When I was allowed to get a haircut, my hairdresser gave me a plastic “cage” for under my mask to keep it off my nose and mouth. She’d bought a ten pack. More than a year ago, I didn’t know that face mask technology would become a hobby.

More than a year ago, I removed the colorful glass chunks from the sink because they seemed to be unhygienic. I put them back the day I received my first Pfizer vaccine dose.

And through it all, I never overbought toilet paper and I never ran out.

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