I haven’t written a blog for ages. We have been busy moving house and I became worried I was sharing too much about James. However, with everything going on at the moment I felt compelled to write something.
COVID-19 is something at the forefront of all of our minds at the moment, so I thought I would try and blog regularly about how it is affecting my family, what we are doing to keep ourselves safe and generally a place to air what is worrying me, and whats on my mind. There is enough doom and gloom about it so I promise I will try and put a positive spin to it where possible. I’m not going to advertise every post I write on my Facebook page so if you like what you read keep checking back to see if I have written any more, or follow my blog and get an email when I write something new.
The main advice we are given about keeping ourselves safe during the COVID-19 outbreak is to wash our hands for 20 seconds. Many of my friends know that I am a massive clean freak. After reading what I am about to write, they may not have known to what extent! I wanted to share with you the steps we are taking as a family to try and keep ourselves safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
For me I am comforted by the advice to wash our hands more; its music to my ears. I wish everyone washed their hands as much as me. I can get through several bottles of Carex soap a week any my husband is always asking if we really need that many. I am now too embarrassed to buy more than 2 a week in case people think I am panic buying or out of worry that someone needs it more than me. I will probably be switching to a bar of soap when my current Carex soap supply has ran out as they seem more readily available at the moment.
The commuter – My husband commutes to London for work. As you can image this gives me a lot of anxiety in itself, and not just during the COVID-19 outbreak. His commute involves him getting on a bus and a train. I know how tightly packed those trains are into London, and it just screams out germs to me. My husband informs me he washes his hands regulary at work. I doubt it is as regularly as I would like. He also has a small bottle of hand gel, which reminds me, I must check that he has actually been using it.
When he returns from work I am armed with an anti bacterial wipe to wipe down his phone and iPad. There is no point in him washing his hands if he then goes and touches his dirty phone or iPad. While I am wiping down his phone, he is washing his hands for 20 seconds. I would prefer him to dry them on kitchen towel, but he often uses the towel, I have to forgive this oversight or he will remind me he is a 37 year old man and doesn’t need telling how to wash or dry his hands. He then goes upstairs puts his clothes in the wash and has a shower. I am then satisfied that the germs from the train aren’t going to be breeding in my house. One thing that really annoys me is if he sits on the sofa before showering. I don’t want train germs on my sofa! If he does this I get the Dettol spray out, which I am rapidly running out of and there’s not a chance I am going to be able to buy another one with all the current panic buyers snapping them up.
The stay at home mum and the toddler – well what can I say, James and I are exceptionally clean. I haven’t really changed much of our hygiene routine other than washing our hands for longer. I shower every morning and wash my hair. James has a bath every evening and we wash his hair. In the morning I wash his hands and face.
If I go to the supermarket with James, or somewhere where he sits in the trolley, I use anti-bacterial wipes to wipe down the trolley seat and the handles before I use it, because who knows who sat in it last and who touched the handles. It could be covered in COVID-19 or anything else that I don’t want me or my child to catch. James likes to test my patience going around shops by touching as many surfaces as he possibly can or touching the part of the trolley I haven’t wiped clean. On returning to the car we both use anti-bacterial hand gel on our hands. I haven’t found a magical supply of it. I already had a big bottle that was 3/4 full but at the rate I use it its not going to last long and this is making me anxious.
Most of the things I do with James involve us being outside. I really believe fresh air is good for us physically and mentally. I am not bothered by James getting his clothes dirty; they can be washed. There have been times where he has decided to just lie in mud. If James get his hands covered in mud, I wipe them. Then when we return to the car I use anti-bacterial gel on them. This is so ingrained in his routine that he often puts his hands out for me. I am probably creating a mini me and he will have his own host of issues as he grows up, but I also like to think that I am teaching him good personal hygiene.
Toddlers are full of germs. I am so impressed that James’ new playgroup are making us wash our hands before we can enter. I am less impressed with the 80s style pull down hand towel that we have to use to dry our hands. Personally I would rather wipe my hands on my clothes but that’s not really setting a great example. When James leaves playgroup its hand gel time in the car, I try and do this without any other parents seeing me. I am not sure I am ready for them to realise how crazy I actually am. As soon as we get in the house he goes upstairs and we change his clothes. If I have been at playgroup too I will also change my clothes. You may realise we get through a lot of washing in this house; I do at least one load a day.
When we come in from being outside we wash our hands for approx 20 seconds. I have to admit I haven’t been counting or singing a song while we do it. I am just confident to know when I have washed them thoroughly enough. I also make sure James washes his hands before he eats, with the exception of breakfast. He’s so hungry then I don’t want a battle and he’s only been in bed, on sheets that I change weekly.
I wash my hands numerous times a day, generally after anything I have touched that I deem slightly unclean. There are probably 90 year old women out there with better looking hands than mine and I frequently refer to my hands as sandpaper hands. As you can imagine I also get through a lot of hand cream, which James refers to as mummy’s hurting hands cream.
My husband says I am very close to being suitable for a channel 4 documentary and a hazmat suit away from being sectioned. That maybe the case but in the current times that we are in I am finally feeling a bit more normal about my hygienic ways. I am the one who will always pick the chocolate in the wrapper if I am offered one, just so I don’t have to touch it with my hands. I am the one that is trying to secretly put hand gel on under the table before I eat out in a restaurant, but now I can be proud to display my good hygiene. I am wiping down my trolley for all to see and proudly anti-bacing my hands so everyone can see that I am clean!
You may wonder why I have such high standards of hygiene. Basically I hate being ill and I know that by keeping myself and my family clean we are less likely to be ill. What I find really frustrating at the moment is despite the government telling people to wash their hands more frequently, cough into tissues and bin them and not to touch your face I am seeing plenty of people around not doing this. Some people don’t seem to care about the situation, and only today I saw two people with a nasty cough, coughing into their hands and not a tissue. Who knows what they will then touch for other shoppers to pick up? No wonder COVID-19 spreads so easily if people aren’t taking the most simple advice seriously. It isn’t difficult to follow the advice and it isn’t difficult to be hygienic. It’s not just for us but it is to stop us from passing germs onto the more vulnerable in society as well. It seems most people are more concerned about buying numerous packets of pasta that they don’t really need.
Despite all of my efforts my husband will probably catch COVID-19 on his morning commute when some irate commuter coughs in his face, and then James and I will be doomed too. We will have to face 14 days of self isolation with a toddler that frequently says “want to go out” or “lets go for a walk”. Sorry James someone coughed in your dad’s face so we just have to make do with the garden.
I was going to write about how I keep my house clean as well but that will have to be for another blog.