Okay, basically we have a little more than three weeks of this stay at home stuff behind us. It’s not going to be a lot of fun the next couple of weeks, at a minimum, but we all have to do our part and power through this situation.

This week I’m sharing a few things I’ve collected during the past few weeks, which drew my interest, but didn’t necessarily fit into any of the news framework under which I’ve chosen to operate during this unique time in our history.

•••

The first thing someone shared with me was a clip from the BBC Network with a message from Ryan Ramsey, a nuclear submarine captain. In it, he provided five “isolation tips.”

They are as follows:

• Keep a routine

• Continue cleaning your area

• Separate for downtime

• Avoid conflict

• Communicate

The clip includes a brief explanation about each. Google “BBC isolation tips” to access the clip.

When I first watched it I did a self check to see how I was doing.

I still have a routine to a degree since we continue to publish the newspaper twice per week, but everything about doing so has changed (i.e. – how public meetings are held, a quiet office because the doors are locked, etc.). Once I get home, other than sleeping, I sit around and read, watch news, Netflix documentaries, and spend more time with our dogs. One routine that has drastically changed is our choice not to visit our children or grandchildren. Easter weekend was going to be a big weekend here in Rockport-Fulton for our entire family. My wife’s milestone birthday trip with the family has also been canceled.

As far as continuing to clean the area around me … I first had to have been keeping the area around me clean! I call it organized chaos.

I don’t have a problem separating myself for downtime. I learned that well after Hurricane Harvey.

How does one avoid conflict under the current circumstances? If you’re married and/or spending a lot more face time with your spouse and/or kids, you know this can be an issue.

I think that’s where the final tip – communication – is key. Combine that with separating for downtime and problem solved!

•••

Several people shared the following with me recently. It’s COVID-19 advice from Johns Hopkins Hospital. I’m trusting its accurate. The email I received said, “The following is from Irene Ken physician, whose daughter is an Asst. Professor in infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University, quite informative.”

It said, in a string of bullet points:

• The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, changes their genetic code (mutation) and convert them into aggressor and multiplier cells.

• Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.

• The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. That is why any soap or detergent is the best remedy, because the foam cuts the fat (that is why you have to rub so much: for 20 seconds or more, to make a lot of foam). By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own.

• Heat melts fat; this is why it is so good to use water above 77 degrees Fahrenheit for washing hands, clothes and everything. In addition, hot water makes more foam and that makes it even more useful.

• Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% dissolves any fat, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.

• Any mix with one part bleach and five parts water directly dissolves the protein, breaks it down from the inside.

• Oxygenated water helps long after soap, alcohol and chlorine, because peroxide dissolves the virus protein, but you have to use it pure and it hurts your skin.

• No bactericide or antibiotic serves. The virus is not a living organism like bacteria; antibodies cannot kill what is not alive.

• Never shake used or unused clothing, sheets or cloth. While it is glued to a porous surface, it is very inert and disintegrates only between three hours (fabric and porous),
four hours (copper and wood), 24 hours (cardboard),
42 hours (metal). And 72 hours (plastic). But if you shake it or use a feather duster, the virus molecules float in the air for up to three hours, and can lodge in your nose.

• The virus molecules remain very stable in external cold, or artificial as air conditioners in houses and cars. They also need moisture to stay stable, and especially darkness. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade it faster.

• UV light on any object that may contain it breaks down the virus protein. For example, to disinfect and reuse a mask is perfect. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen (which is protein) in the skin.

• The virus cannot go through healthy skin.

• Vinegar is not useful because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.

• No spirits, nor vodka, serve. The strongest vodka is 40% alcohol, and you need 65%.

• Listerine if it serves! it is 65% alcohol.

• The more confined the space, the more concentration of the virus there can be. The more open or naturally ventilated, the less.

• You have to wash your hands before and after touching mucosa, food, locks, knobs, switches, remote controls, cell phones, watches, computers, desks, TVs, etc., and when using the bathroom.

• You have to moisturize dry hands from so much washing them, because the molecules can hide in the micro cracks. The thicker the moisturizer, the better.

• Also keep your nails short so that the virus does not hide there.

•••

It’s always good to laugh at some point during any bad situation, such as a possible recessionary period in the near future. The following might put a smile on your face, if needed:

• My neighbor got a “Pre-declined” credit card in the mail.

• CEOs are now playing miniature golf.

• Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

• If the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

• McDonald’s is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

• Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children’s names.

• My cousin had an exorcism, but couldn’t afford to pay for it, so they re-possessed her.

• A picture is now only worth 200 words.

•••

My final entry this week is a bit of timeless poetry. It was written in 1869 by Kathleen O’Meara, and reprinted during the 1919 Spanish flu Pandemic.

Here it be:

And people stayed at home

And read books

And listened

And they rested

And did exercises

And made art and played

And learned new ways of being

And stopped and listened

More deeply

Someone meditated, someone prayed

Someone met their shadow

And people began to think differently

And people healed.

And in the absence of people who

Lived in ignorant ways

Dangerous, meaningless and heartless,

The earth also began to heal

And when the danger ended and

People found themselves

They grieved for the dead

And made new choices

And dreamed of new visions

And created new ways of living

And completely healed the earth

Just as they were healed.

Until next week, have a good week, and use common sense.

Mike Probst can be reached at publisher@rockportpilot.com.

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