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After an impromptu family gathering at our home with cousins visiting from out of town, my mother-in-law graciously announced that Hubby & I were going to a movie that night.  Impromptu date night- Yay!  We haven’t had date night in awhile so this was truly welcome.

We both had been wanting to see “The Debt”, but unfortunately, the movie times and locations weren’t suited to our plan for the evening. After checking out the listings, we settled on Contagion, which looked like it would be a good movie, but I was concerned about what it might do to my already germophobic self.

Let me say this: I was right on both counts.  It was a great movie BUT when I left, I wanted to be in a bubble. Thoughts of homeschooling my four children raced through my mind (not the first time, by the way, but here they were, again).  I tried to calculate what kind of food supply I’d need to keep on hand to be able to not leave the house for 6 months to a year.  I informed my husband that we should buy an AeroGarden (or two or three) and keep a supply of seeds on hand at all times that can yield a year’s supply worth of whatever.  (AeroGarden is an “indoor garden” where you can cultivate a variety of veggies, herbs, lettuces).  The list goes on.

As we walked out, someone asked me if Matt Damon dies in the movie and I assured his girlfriend that I wouldn’t answer & ruin the movie for them, but that really their concern right now ought to be making sure they don’t order popcorn and that they have enough Purell to get them through the movie.

The night was still young and normally we’d have gone for a walk or for coffee.  We weren’t in the mood to walk given the cold, damp weather, but coffee seemed so…public.  People, tabletops, handing over credit cards, UGH.  Who needs that?  So we went home.

My mother in law was so disappointed as she wanted to treat us to a full evening and, of course, have more time with the kids, so we agreed to go back out. UGH!

We went to Starbucks & reluctantly ordered.  If the thought of picking up a lid wasn’t terrifying enough, I picked up the wrong size & had to put it back, wondering how many people before me had done the same thing.  Of course I didn’t take the top lid, I picked up the stack & took one from way down- how many had done that before & was the middle of the stack the top of the stack a few hours ago?  To make matters worse the woman at the table close to the lids coughed.  I felt woozy already.

We somehow managed to get a conversation going, although I was barely able to speak for the first 5-10 minutes (and I am ALWAYS talking, so this was pretty serious).  In the end, we managed to have a very nice conversation and were grateful for our extended date night.  I even made it to a meeting at Starbucks this morning and managed to drink my coffee with relative ease considering how freaked out I was on Saturday night.

I guess that the effect was intense but didn’t last as long as I had anticipated.  That said, I’m still exploring the idea of the AeroGarden and keeping the pantry stocked beyond our usual “just in case” supply. As for the homeschooling, I’ll put that thought on hold for now.  I really did consider it way back when, but I love where they are and how they’re learning.  Besides, if they were home all day, when would I have time to blog?

As for Contagion, see it, but bring hand sanitizer  and don’t order snacks at the counter because you will feel gross afterwards.  And a day or so after seeing it, make a deal with your family to enforce some reasonable rules about hygiene.

  1. Wash your hands the minute you get into the house, no matter where you were before.
  2. Remind your kids that a proper hand washing takes as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday to You” – the WHOLE song.
  3. Keep hand sanitizer handy for the times when soap & water are not available, but use sparingly as excessive use of sanitizer poses its own set of risks.
  4. Keep masks in the house and in your car. Don’t be embarrassed to use them if the need arises, whether to protect yourself or those around you.
  5. Use elbows to press elevator & door opening buttons wherever possible. Teach your kids to do the same.
  6. Stop touching your face- create a family plan where you remind each other.  This will be the most difficult thing to do on the list, but we’ll be trying it out chez nous.  According to the movie, we touch our faces 3-5 times every waking minute, which can be about 4800 times daily if you are asleep for 8 hours. I haven’t verified this number yet, but given my awareness since the movie, it doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

Have you seen contagion?  What did you think?  Do you have germophobic tendencies?  How do you deal with them?  Do you have any hygiene tips?  Please share!

Wishing you a healthy day,


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  1. I can relate… but FYI, the masks do not protect you from others’ germs. They do however, protect others from your germs.

    • Seriously? I actually did not know that. I would have thought that if you cough into a mask that the mask prevents germs from spreading. I realize it doesn’t help if you have germs all over your hands, but I really thought it would help in the case of a cough. Thanks for sharing, Sharon!

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