What is COVID Consciousness?
In this time of social isolation, societal conflict, and questionable hope for the future it is easy to lose our prioritization of others when it comes to the spreading of disease. We go about our days like mindless drones with our hard drives full of the spam of political lies, racial disparities, loss of hope, and fear of microscopic enemies. And, as we focus on upcoming elections and increasing racial tensions, all while experiencing COVID burnout, it can be easy to lose sight of the pandemic we are still fighting, especially as we approach a second phase with cold and flu season hitting us. Now more than ever before, it’s important for us to prioritize thinking of those around us and ending the spread of this pesky virus through our COVID consciousness.
I know you are asking right now, “What the hell is COVID consciousness?” Well, my faithful reader, I will lay it out for you. Staying aware of this pandemic and keeping it in the forefront of your mind will allow you to find this consciousness. And, I will outline ways to go about life showing you are embracing your inner COVID consciousness and mentoring it for others.
Cover Those Sneezes and Coughs
Since we have been little tots, we have always had ingrained in us to cover our cough. And most of us also had it drilled into our little beady heads to also cover our sneezes. You would think that we would all be practicing this before the looming pandemic hit, but we are a bunch of droplets spreading fools. If I had a nickel for every cough and sneeze I have seen projected out into the air spreading those microscopic monsters, I would be in a mansion on a hill with 5 cabana boys to entertain me and my lady boss crew. If you fall in this category, don’t fret, Ruby is here to guide you to becoming the best virus blocker that ever was. Instead of coughing open-mouthed, launching those microbes into the air like little nuclear missiles, or sneezing unguarded sending microscopic mucus particles into the air like a released bouquet of helium-filled birthday balloons, simply cough or sneeze into the fold of your elbow. I mean really there is no excuse for not doing this easy preventative measure to not spread your germs. Think of the old, wrinkly neighbor lady who bakes you holiday treats. Do you really want your germ rockets to be the reason for her death?
Keep Hands Clean
Just like covering our sneezes and coughs, hand washing was another thing that if it wasn’t burned into our little brains at home, it certainly was at school when we were still children. We all know that fun little song, “Wash your hands after going to the bathroom, and changing baby too…we don’t want you catching hepatitis or hepatitis catching you.” No? Never heard it? Huh. weird. I thought everyone had fun singing that while washing their hands as a kid. I grew up with a nurse as a mom, so I was always washing my little hands. In fact, it may have later contributed to my OCD. Thanks, mom! But that is for a therapy session, let’s get back to the point, which is: wash your damn hands. In the time of a pandemic, we should especially be aware of our hands’ cleanliness as we touch everything. Went to the bathroom? Wash your hands. Getting ready to prepare food? Wash your hands. Getting ready to eat? Wash your hands. Going into the store? Clean those hands. Pretty much, every time you are going to be touching something that others may touch or that is going into your mouth, you should be sure your hands are clean. I get that there is not a sink and soup at every corner but there is this thing called hand sanitizer. It comes in all shapes and sizes, and believe it or not, it is really easy to make your own. So, please be mindful of those hands and keep them clean, you filthy animal.
Use Automated Doors
It has been scientifically proven that door handles are one of the germiest places in our world. Take a moment and think about the hundreds of hands—large, small, young and old—that have touched that door you’re are about to open. And don’t forget the booger covered hands of kids (and some adults), the many hands that have not had one single washing after holding a penis as it ejects fluid from it, or those hands that have been changing a shitty diaper then going directly out the door—remember, people are gross which is why we need to do our part to spread COVID consciousness. If you see the handicap access button to automatically open the door, gently push it with your elbow to prevent all that grodiness on the door handle from being transferred to you. If there is not this button available, sanitize your hands before and after opening this door and then report them to the ADA, if it is in a public place. If it is your neighbor you just have to sanitize.
Mind Your Distance
I know there are some who wanted social distancing before we were hit with a pandemic, but now that we are dealing with COVID we need to be mindful of space between ourselves and others when we are out and about. Believe me, I love to get on up in a stranger’s space and squeeze them just as much as the rest of you. Well except for you over there creeping in the corner. But we need to have this thing called resisting the urge. When you see someone coming along who is not in your inner circle—you know that circle of people that dance nake, under the pale full moon, dripped in hot wax listening to Stevie Knicks—give them some space. Like 6 to 10 feet of it. Now is the time to show your kindergarten teacher that you do have impulse control (take that Ms. Lambo). If you are feeling extra COVID conscious give them the whole aisle or side of the road. Just think of everyone being in Bubble Boy’s suit and then take it back another suit and we all should be fine.
Wear Your Mask
Before I go any further, I don’t want to hear that it is your god-given right not to wear a mask, or that it goes against the constitution; and especially not how COVID is a hoax and not real. To answer your question, yeah you in the MAGA hat, no I don’t want to hear how it is sent from God to punish the sins of the Earth either. One of the easiest things to do to keep your loved ones and those loved by others safe is to wear a mask. There really is no excuse other than that you are a self-centered ignorant asshole. Please don’t get me started on those out there who begrudgingly wear a mask and don’t even wear them right. And if this is you please refer to my Ruby’s Guide to Wearing Your Mask, and stop looking like a fool. Not every person shows signs of being sick with COVID. It’s called being asymptomatic, (big word for some, I know). When we wear a mask we are protecting others in case we are one of those asymptomatic people.
Clean Your Masks
For those who next-level their COVID consciousness, and have a mask for every occasion, it is important to remember that they need to be cleaned. You can put your fabric masks in the washing machine and use hot water to assist in sanitizing. If the fabric is bleach safe you can hand wash them using a bleach solution. After washing they should be laid flat to dry. Believe it or not, no matter what the president may say, the CDC knows a thing or two about prevention and has guidelines on their website for washing your 2020 fashion accessory.
Back-Up Mask and Bagged Masks for Sharing
Now if you really want to step up your game, you should have spare masks in your car, purse, office and anywhere else you can think of having one handy. There’s nothing worse than hopping in the Uber and realizing your mask is on the bathroom counter. If you have a handy mask stashed in your jacket pocket or purse there is no worry, you are prepared. If you want to be a COVID philanthropist, have clean individually bagged masks in your purse or car for friends and family in case they have neglectfully left the house without a mask.
Parting Last Words
If we all tried to be more COVID conscious maybe we can hit the dance floor like a bunch of toddlers hyped up on pixie stix sooner rather than later. Until we all listen to science and for once in our lives focus on not being selfish and instead thinking of others, we will be living in this dull dystopian world of isolation and distancing from each other. So please, I am begging you, find or wake your COVID consciousness so that we may go back to our normal lives before we forget how to interact with someone within six feet of our bubble.