topic_interest is exactly cleaning
Germs and Touch: Contact OCD during the pandemicThe pandemic, rather the first 5 months, was debilitating for my mental health. I suffer from a type of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) called "Contamination OCD". This could also be known as germaphobia. When the pandemic began, I began to be cautious. I would slide my sleeves over my hands to open doors at the college I was attending. I stopped touching things directly. For years I already practiced this in the bathroom, such as not touching stall locks before using the toilet or always washing my hands before and after I went. Due to medical issues, my doctors advised me to truly quarantine for 30 days or more. This sent my anxiety into a severe shock. I truly, genuinely did not leave my home for 30 days. There may have been a few trash outings but I did not go to the stores or see friends; nothing. It is hard to describe how my touch was affected, especially if the reader does not understand contamination OCD. An example that truly became a problem for me is Amazon packages. For everyone else, Amazon was still running and this allowed everyone to still have fun; to still live. For me, any package I took in, I used gloves. I would not touch the box. In my mind, the carrier could have had COVID, which would be outside the box. Inside, the handler could have coughed on the item as well. Even the manufacturer could have contaminated it. I cut trash bags in half and laid my items on them as I carefully dissected each one. Anything that came into my home, groceries too, was wiped down with bleach or Clorox wipes (if I had them). Amazon packages were quarantined for 10-14 days in a cupboard so the alleged virus would die and then I could use it. I remember how dry my hands were from washing 20 times a day, at least. The way the bleach would hurt my hands if I forgot gloves. Clorox wipes were familiar and on ration as I cut each one in half to make them last. The gloves I had were the last box in my city after searching for a whole day. I had tickets booked to Seoul, South Korea the first week of March 2020...which was obviously cancelled. For me, everything was dirty until I got to it. Even then, I barely trusted it. My couches, handles, walls, phone, laptop, window, groceries, bags, clothing, and more all went through cleaning as they came into my home. I would never sit on any furniture in "dirty" clothes from the outside. I had to shower and throw them in the wash. My mind was obviously anxious and ill. While I have severely recovered and pushed those limits, I still find myself holding onto those habits, knowing the risk is still out there. My hands still dry out from washing and I use hand sanitizer too much. I haven't had COVID yet, so I am holding out.
HIST30060 Texts from a supermarket service manager regarding COVID cleaningThese are screenshots of text messages sent from a supermarket manager to a group chat of service team members of a major Australian supermarket in Altona North, Melbourne. They detail the new cleaning regime that became part of the responsibilities of working in a supermarket during the pandemic. These include instructions about wiping down surfaces with sanitiser and keeping 1.5m distance from coworkers. These texts came a few days after Victoria's third lockdown was announced. I worked at the supermarket at the time and it was an extremely chaotic period, made more hectic by ever-changing restrictions and developments in COVID-safe practices. We would get texts like these quite frequently during this third lockdown because it was so important that supermarket essential workers kept abreast of COVID developments and worked to make supermarkets as safe as possible.
Clean Hands and Empty SpiritsThis story is a small snapshot into how I felt mentally, and smelled, heard, and touched physically during April 2020. It talks about how the smells and noises around me at the time contributed to my worsening mental state and the feeling of hopelessness. This is important to me because it was this time that I learned that I am mentally stronger than I think and that I can get through rough patches with the help of my husband. It was not a fun experience, but I grew from it.
Covid Disinfection in Alife, ItalyI decided to share this video because it will help future historians understand how a small town in Italy responded to the pandemic. This item is of interest to future historians because it shows how disinfecting the town center in a small town in Italy was deemed to be essential in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This video is critical for future generations and historians because it will allow them to understand what measures were taken. Future historians can use this video and compare it to pandemics from previous generations and discover what protocols are similar. This video is important to me because my family is from a small town in Italy and it is interesting to see the steps that the town took in order to disinfect the town. I also found it interesting to compare how the United States of America disinfected its towns and how it is similar to the town of Alife.
Essentials that are hard to find during COVID-19I submitted this image because it represents the cleaning items that are essential in my life but have been hard to find because of COVID. Many people were restricted about how many Clorox wipes they could buy at the store. It was weird to go to the store and not find the cleaning products I need. When I found an item such as Lysol Laundry Sanitizer, I would send a text to my friends and family to let them know which store had them in stock. I would also try to buy several Lysol Laundry Sanitizers so that I could give them to my friends and family. Prior to COVID, cleaning products would not be a gift that you would give your friends and family, but it became a thoughtful item that you could give to your loved ones. For several weeks it was difficult for me to find Lysol laundry sanitizer. It was scary to go to the store and find the shelves empty. Luckily, I had already stockpiled prior to COVID so I had plenty for several months.
Lucy Li Oral History, 2020/10/03Lucy Li speaks on her experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the cleaning ritual she has developed, her new recognition of the need for social interaction, remote work and school, and how the economy’s dip will affect her generation. She finds work-life-school balance, feeling stuck in her apartment, and connection with others challenging. She finds that nihilistic memes, social media management strategy, and park walks with friends keep her grounded. Li finds hope in community resilience.
Preparing for the Public Again: Supplies Needed for Reopening Oklahoma Business in Phase 3 During COVID-19Starting June 1st, Oklahoma Governor Stitt's Phase 3 of Oklahoma's reopening began. The Richey Insurance Agency of Blanchard, Oklahoma has still not opened partly due to the company's employees being in the vulnerable categories. One of the other reasons is the difficulty in obtaining much needed cleaning supplies and the creation of new office protocols to maintain CDC suggested safety measures. Being a small independent business in a rural area, we are not given strict corporate or state regulations to enact. Instead, we are reliant on state and CDC information as well as our own ingenuity of how to best observe these suggestions. Some of the items that we've recently obtained include: plexiglass barriers for two desks, new easily cleanable office chairs, automated hand sanitizer stations, 70% isopropyl alcohol for spray bottles, bulk bottle of hand sanitizer, brightly colored tape for marking distancing locations on the floor, emergency masks, emergency gloves, and document exchange trays. All of these items are newly purchased and weren't necessary before COVID-19. The barriers will help maintain sanitary work spaces and create social distancing gaps. The chairs are especially important because they are replacing the previous cloth chairs. These new chairs' entire surface is either vinyl or metal, making it easier to clean after every customer. The social distancing rules will be a maximum of four customers in the office. This is approximately one third of its usual heavy customer points normally. All of these changes are based on a downward progression of COVID-19 cases to prevent our employees from unnecessary risk. Right now, three of the employees work from home and will continue until the office is officially open. Currently the new COVID-19 cases are on an upward trend in Oklahoma, with 225 new cases on Saturday June 12th, the single largest day since the beginning of the outbreak. With numbers like these, Phase 3 seems to be more of risk than we had planned. Much of the ramp up to open will be stalled until Oklahoma numbers show a significant decline. Personal story submitted for the #ruralvoices collection. Contributed by Clinton P. Roberts, curatorial intern for Arizona State University, HST 580.
A Daily Routine: Masks Go in the Washing Machine Before Entering the HouseThe photograph depicts what the washing machine always looks like at my house in Oklahoma, multiple cloth masks inside. It has become our daily routine of placing our masks in the washing machine as soon as we get home from public places. Before we only used masks to go to the post office and grocery stores, the only two public places we went with other people there. Now that the June 1st Phase 3 of reopening Oklahoma has begun, we have noticed more and more people everywhere we go. As people are becoming more active and very few wears masks, we've begun having to take multiple masks with us everywhere to remain vigilant and have backups. Our daily routine now includes placing our masks in the washing machine as soon as we enter from the garage, before going further into the rest of the house. If we go somewhere that includes carrying lots of things that touch our clothes, then we will also throw our daily clothes in the washing machine immediately. On one occasion we came face-to-face with a person without a mask that was actively coughing without covering their mouth in the produce section. We skipped purchasing any produce that day and went straight home. On days like that, we would immediately wash whatever clothes we were wearing, to prevent spreading anything in to the house. Photographs like this are a constant reminder of how our daily routines were completely changed because of COVID-19.