Tag is exactly clean
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.
Stop the Spread of GermsThe photo is a CDC poster that describes safe practices during the pandemic. These include: social distancing, covering mouth and nose with coughing/sneezing, mask wear, not touching your face, clean and disinfect surfaces and to stay home when sick.
Pandemic Smells and SilenceWhen the pandemic became widespread enough for schools to start shutting down, it seems that’s when life really changed. I remember - it was March 2020 - and my school district had just gone on spring break. It was still uncertain whether teachers and students would be returning to their classroom after break’s end. We were asked to come into our classrooms to gather any teaching supplies we might be able to use to teach virtually in the event that we would be told to remain at home. When I arrived at school, it was so quiet. There were a few cars parked in the parking lot, but no people to be seen. The usual student chatter, catching fragments of conversation as they walked by, the bustle of cars parking was gone. As I entered my building, a wave of chemically cleaned and sanitized air blasted my nostrils. The smells of bleach and whatever other industrial cleaners schools use wafted through the halls. They had recently been cleaned - I had never seen them so pristine. A few custodian cleaning carts were scattered nearby, but still no one to be seen. Every footfall seemed louder against the backdrop of silence. The deserted hallway and the chemical smell assaulting my olfactory system had turned my second home into something sterile and unwelcoming. Entering my classroom, I noticed it, too, had been sanitized with heavy chemicals and a jug of hand sanitizer had unceremoniously been plopped on my desk. I surveyed my classroom, nostrils burning from the bleach again, grabbed what I needed and went home. It would be the last time I would see my classroom for a long time. The memory of that shining, white hallway and the burning air of “purification” has stayed with me.
U.S. History Classroom 2020When I came home from my last deployment in December 2019, I began to look for teaching jobs- I was for the first time preparing for the teaching job market. Suddenly, when Covid-19 hit the streets, most business and shops closed their doors and were only open for carry-out. In May 2020, I was worried because most school corporations announced that they would presume classes virtually or through a mix of hybrid days that would consists of both synchronous and asynchronous learning for the first portion of the school year. I thought that this would be a learning curve for me if I ended up getting a position. By August 2020, I got a position as an 11th-grade high school teacher in my hometown. Before the bell rang on 03 August 2020, I put the rubber gloves on that the school’s office gave me and sprayed each desk down with bleach. The tight latex gloves did not fit my hand properly but worked for its purpose. The disinfectant left an aroma in the air, similar to a hospital. Brinnnnng, the bell sounded, and the students began marching into the building as I watched them from my window. My forehead began to bead up with sweet (I was nervous for my first day). Then, I put on my mask and stood outside my door. As I waited at the door, I remembered the old days when I was a student at that same school, I was now a teacher. Back then, the hallways were filled with my peers, there were lots of hugging and other high schoolers interaction going on. Everywhere I turned, my peers were smiling and excited to share summer stories. In a blink of eyes, when I looked at the hallways, my peers were no longer there. Neither was the high schooler me. Now, I look through the hallways and it is filled with faceless students. The unnatural phenomena brought forth by Covid-19. The wearing of a mask in the U.S. society is unnatural. The students tried to stay six feet away and tried not make physical contact with anyone. The masks covered their faces, and many wore gloves to open their lockers. As I greeted my students entering my class first period, they seemed happy to be in school in-person since all surrounding corporations had announced they would have online instruction. As they seated, they soon realized that each desk was coated in residues from the cleaning products. I then went to the front of my class and tried to write my name on the board. The marker streaked the board. The cleaning products from wiping each room down from the cleaning staff had left a clear coating that made it impossible to write on. This was a common theme for each class that entered my room. By the end of the day, the room was filled with body and cleaning supplies odors. The coating on the board ruined my marker. My hands shriveled from the gloves, and my ears were red and irritated from the mask. I thought to myself, “this is the new norm now. I must get used to it, so students do not feel overwhelmed.” I chose this story because I felt that this was a challenging year for all first-year teachers. I wanted to bring insight on how difficult it was to try and keep calm and push students to strive to their potential without making students have the extra worry of Covid. This story shows how Covid affected not only adults but everyone in our society.
Social DistancingBeing retired, my husband and I spent a lot of time going out to eat and dance and visit friends and grandchildren. Now we get to wave at our neighbors as they pass by separated from us at a safe distance. Some good friends we do not see at all because they have been scared to death by bad information. We spend a lot of time cleaning and re-cleaning the house and a few make work tasks. I have taken up bike ridging and a group of us do twice daily rides around the neighborhood. Our neighborhood has responded well to the stay-at-home by keeping safe distances. We have small group gathering in driveways instead of homes. Talking about the response to the virus has now become a "do not discuss topic" like religion and politics as households form their own opinions on what is safe. Some friends are laid back and some are panicked. Over all though our social circle is hanging in and anticipating the end of the lock down. Within my circle of friends we were always in touch but are now sharing more joke videos as they show up. My husband and I take short drives, break up the day, and visit with small groups of friends in driveways.
The Laws Of CovidSince the beginning of Covid masks were a necessity I never minded them unless I was running or exercising still they were annoying at all times and I would have preferred without them. We also have to keep our hands clean and wash all the time for me this hasn't been a big change and unlike, others my hands haven't gotten terribly dry either. One more rule that has truly affected me is small groups of people and in those small groups 6 feet with masks on. This means I can't be with friends or at least I can't be with a lot of them at one time which has risen some complications. So all in all, I can manage through this but it does get annoying after a while.
Pre-Transformation Entry: COVID-19 ResponseThis journal entry was written as a part of the American Studies class at California High School in San Ramon, California. This will mostly be about the shut-in. To be honest, it feels as though not much has changed. At the same time, I feel disoriented. The major difference in my daily activity is the stationary school setting, along with dance practice which I attend from right at home. As I’ve settled into the new life, I feel more aware of how poorly i’ve been treating my own room, and the mess gets to my head. I suppose the quarantine has made me cleaner. Additionally, I’ve more time to spend with my family. It makes me happy to see their faces every day. In darker news, my mom’s condition got much worse, but we’re all here to support her now, and that makes me proud. Being walled up at home certainly did change things.
The New Smell of WalmartWalmart. Not known for being the cleanest and best smelling place on Earth. In the past, I’d walk in and there would be always be an odd stench. One that smelled of old moldy bread and burnt bacon. However, I was very used to the smell given that I’d usually stop by here once a month after lacrosse practice to pick up gatorade for the following practices. Once COVID-19 struck. Walmart’s smell has changed significantly. The employees are constantly cleaning, wiping down registers, mopping the tile, and spraying down the carts. Now a distinct smell of bleach fills the entire store. The mask that I wear in the store isn’t enough to block out the strong smell of bleach. It’s so strong that it stings my nose. I hope that the smell of bleach can die down and oddly enough return to the regular old smell.
Cleaning The Climbing FrameThis image shows workers in Mexico cleaning playgrounds to stop the spread of Covid-19.
SoapThese soaps will serve as favors for my upcoming bridal shower. I wanted to give something that was useful, rather than something that would be thrown away as soon as they left. What could be more needed currently during a pandemic than soap? This birthed the idea to make individual soaps to give to all the attendees to take home and use after being out with people all day.
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Health Services Resume Business“The Little River Health Service Center continues to maintain extreme cleanliness and sterilization throughout the clinic. The examination rooms and public spaces are maintained continuously throughout the day and evenings. We have implemented several devices to help filter and circulate the air space…Thank you everyone for your patience and understanding during this unusual time. Please continue to stay healthy. We will be fine. This will resolve. During this time, remember your loved ones both current and past. Care for one another and give support where it’s needed. Be conscious of your personal hygiene and continue to eat well, sleep well, and be well everyone! Bless you all and continue to remain strong!”
VoicemailIt talks about keeping you hands clean
Flagstaff QuarantineI don't have the virus and didn't lose my job. I AM in the dangerous older age group, so I've been quarantining. It's been 7 weeks now, and I'm still LOVING it. I love it because I'm an introvert and have too many interesting things I can do at home. I'm getting more creative than in my normal life, producing art and writing, doing more cleaning and decluttering than I would normally be willing to do. I'm also getting creative about using my time and making do with the foods and supplies I have on hand. I keep informed about the virus (and mourn for those who've lost their lives, and feel for those who aim to heal the sick and those who've lost their jobs), but I'm not plugged in 24/7. I'm excited to hear about the creative new ways people are figuring out how to work and connect and thrive. While this is a tragic and difficult time, it's also a creative and growth time, which I think will leave its mark.
Trabajadores de limpieza exigen bonoTrabajadores de limpieza, workers in municipal cleanup demand a bonus similar to the S/380 bonus given to Peru's poorest citizens