Growing up in the mid-1950’s through mid-1970’s, I remember my Mom meticulously washing, drying, folding, and ironing my Dad’s cloth handkerchiefs. He always carried one in his back pocket. I believe that fell in line with his Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared."
This memory came to me as I thought about the best way to have a face mask available at any time while complying with the social distancing rules for being in public. Thinking this through I wished I had one of my Dad’s old handkerchiefs, or maybe even a few of my bandanas from the 70’s, but those are long gone.
Currently, the “new normal” requires a tweaking of my old routine before stepping out the door. Being prepared for the day means having additional items with me, including:
- A cloth face mask - I purchased a colorful mask from a seamstress at our local Farmer’s Market which works well. You can also purchase them online through a variety of retailers.
- Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content - I used a hand sanitizer recently that had glitter in it left over from the grandkids’ last visit. It took several hours to get all that glitter off my hands, but the sanitizer did the trick!
- A few Q-tips - My niece suggested that these can be used to push buttons at a check-out counter’s credit card machine. It worked great, and without me having to punch the buttons with my finger.
- A spare face mask, just in case, since you never know…
- A thermometer - I may need to prove I am fever-free before entering a building and would want to use my own thermometer.
- A pair of vinyl or latex gloves - I found I had one pair of gloves in an old first aid kit, so I put them in my pack. I keep them in a plastic bag and can safely hold onto the pair after use, until i'm ready to dispose of them.
I’m a person who dislikes even carrying coins in my pocket or pack, so it’s taking me some time to get used to the “new normal” with its additional requirements, including more frequent hand-washing. However, I understand the importance of doing my part to protect others and myself during this challenging time. What does the “new normal” mean for you? Share a comment below!
Written by Elaine Wilson, LCSW, CCM, Director of Outreach at Care Around the Block. If you are caring for someone during this time, Elaine facilities a free online support group for family dementia caregivers in which you can participate from your own home. Call our office at (865)444-6787 to sign up.
Follow CAB on social media!