Clean Hands Doctrine


Hey, it’s been a while!

But whoa, whoa, dear reader, not so fast there with the physical affection. Just move back, thank you very much. I have missed you, and I do sincerely love you, but let’s just agree that we’ll hold off on the hugs and kisses for a while okay?

We have to be careful at the moment. This coronavirus is certainly making a mess of things.

When we last convened here, we were all in the midst of holiday hustle and bustle. Some of you were even bemoaning the fact that you weren’t having a white Christmas. Oh, the calamity! What a difference a handful of weeks make, eh? I bet you’d love to have that as your main complaint again.

Instead, we’re all collectively swabbing down surfaces, wearing masks, and keeping six feet from our fellow humans. Handshakes are now frowned upon. We are going to have to develop new expressions of affection until they come up with a vaccine for this thing. So for the first time ever, it’s now socially acceptable to elbow someone.

I for one am not wearing a mask. According to my wife, it’s bad enough that I wear a sleeping mask to bed each night. She claims it’s not very romantic. Oh, pish-tosh. One can still kiss while wearing a sleeping mask, but just try kissing someone wearing one of those facial masks that are all the rage at the moment. Let us know how you fare; I bet it’d be like kissing Darth Vader.

To think how smug I was back in the fall after I got my flu shot. They were forecasting for a “normal” flu season, and I’m sure I calculated that my odds would be good in avoiding anything calamitous. Of course, around that same time the S&P 500 was riding high, and my retirement savings balance had a Warren Buffett-like glow of invincibility. All of this goes to show that it just doesn’t pay to be an optimist.

Though we think we’re free of any viruses here at Snakes in the Grass, we still find ourselves affected by some of the paranoia currently gripping this land of ours.

Tomorrow, for instance, we had plans to get on a plane and travel to Scottsdale to visit my snowbird sister. It was to be Gorgeous’ first visit there, and we had some fun activities planned: two concerts, and stops at the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Musical Instruments Museum. However, out of an abundance of caution, we decided last evening to cancel the trip.

Gorgeous takes a medication called Humira, which can lower the immune system. We did look for guidance and reassurance from government officials about how safe it might move about the land, but only heard platitudes. When I read that the president referred to the still-illusive virus test kits as “beautiful,” I knew we were pretty much on our own for now. I know who I’d like to elbow at the moment.

So we’re staying put; it’s the path of least resistance. Time for some to wash their hands and just start painting.

Our gym has signs up at the entrance and throughout the facility asking people to thoroughly wipe down the machines after they use one. Hopefully those who never bother to do so (you know who you are) will actually do that now.

Of course, not everyone is getting the message about public interactions. I went to buy bagels this morning and watched as the person who rang me up touched her nose three times, thus giving a whole new meaning to bagel and a schmear. Honestly, if we all get through this somehow, it’ll be based on chance and luck.

So careful out there. Wash those hands for 20 seconds (if you’re unsure about this, Larry David shows you how! — <click here>), cough into your upper arm, and stop looking at your 401(k) and IRA balances. For now, you’ll need to postpone that romantic trip to Italy that you’ve been planning in your head. Romance is relative anyway. Which is something I think Gorgeous completely understands.

Until next time…

35 thoughts on “Clean Hands Doctrine

  1. Good to see you back! I just posted about the Coronavirus but… darn you… your’s was way funnier than mine (in my defense, I didn’t try to be). I’m sorry about your trip. I think many of us are grappling with that decision – should I stay, or should I go? Gorgeous’s painting is beautiful! I hope you’ve stockpiled her art supplies so she can keep on painting. Stay healthy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I look forward to reading your post, Janis! Yeah, it was a serious bummer. We had so many nice things planned. But we both had sleepless nights wondering if it was the right thing to do. So we’re staying put for now and being as careful as we can. You stay healthy too. 🙂


    1. Indeed, Judy! A friend texted me after he read the post with picture of Costco hoarding. He couldn’t figure out the water run, as tap water is still safe, for G-d sakes! Fetal positions are going to be the norm for the next few months, I guess. You stay safe too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome back, Marty. I gave a friend a spontaneous hug yesterday and I saw the fear in their eyes. Oops. I forgot.

    The other HUGE issue around here is the toilet paper panic. I am sure you have heard all about it. I saw I can sell rolls on Craigslist, make a significant profit, and help offset our retirement savings losses.

    I am sorry you had to cancel your trip. This seems to be the norm right now. We do have cruise ships that stop here. Another story. Plans seem to be in place around here on how to test and prevent transmission. Personally, we are trying to use our common sense and not get pulled into panic mode. The toilet paper is under lock and key.

    Gorgeous looks beautiful as always, painting a picture that looks very much like the bouquet of flowers behind her. Possibly cocoon for awhile,Marty, and you and Gorgeous stay healthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Erica! I can’t quite figure out the toilet paper runs (no pun intended). I mean, are people expecting mass stomach aches to happen??!!!!

      A friend of mine (over 70) is scheduled to go on a cruise out of Miami next month. She and her husband feel it’s still safe to go, and my pleas to her to reconsider went on deaf ears. I’ll just to have hope they do okay. I personally wouldn’t set foot in a cruise ship right now.

      I’ll be glad to hug you someday… just not now! 🙂 Be safe, be careful, and watch over that toilet paper.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Had a good laugh over this. Sorely needed in the midst of the current hysteria. My biggest fear at the moment is if this nonsense is still a problem by the time I’m supposed to see The Stones in San Diego in May, or if they’ll cancel. They are, after all, in an *ahem* sensitive age bracket for this now. If they do, I’ll be $15,000 richer, and that’s just the Ticketmaster fees.
    I’m as stocked up as I can be, but I guess I’ll need to throw away that package of frozen bat meat I’ve been saving for a special occasion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Damn, and there’s nothing like that bat soup you make too. Well, we all have to make sacrifices, I guess.

      I do hope you see the Stones. It just figures this has to happen when Genesis announces a reunion tour too. Not that I plan on going to the UK to see them, but in that “once in a blue moon moment,” they make the announcement at the worst time. Oh well, the sacrifices we make for our favorite bands. I’m sure Mick, Keith, Charlie, and Ronnie will rock the night away in San Diego for you. 🙂


  4. I’m posting about this tomorrow. People are crazy. We’ve had more deaths in our state from the regular flu and none from the corona virus but you couldn’t tell that. I see people afraid to touch things yet they lick their fingers to separate bags. Fortunately we have enough toilet paper to see us through! Sorry about your trip. A friend of mine just cancelled a 6 week trip to Europe with the focus on Italy. So sad. I really only worry about my brother. He is 90, very healthy but he has asthma. Makes his lungs a little weaker than the rest of us. I think he’s using beer to fight it off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beer is the new anti-inflammatory for this millennium. So Bro is self-diagnosing correctly! I know, it’s crazy about he hoarding. Curiously, it was only two weeks ago that I went a little crazy with toilet paper purchases because of coupons I had. So I think we’re okay for the moment too. Feel free to come visit here — our bathrooms are fully stocked! I’ve missed you, Kate! I need to get my “Randoms” fix again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay! Snakey-baby is back!
    I was gonna post a ‘new normal’ post about COVID-19…but meh – you and Janis did a better job on this by far!
    So I’m back to my usual musical musings…watch for it tomorrow.
    BTW: it felt fantastic voting here in SC…rebel that I am (pun intended, tho I’m no southerner!)
    Maybe I should say the ballot box was ‘beautiful’ and give raspberries to the over-user of that word!
    Hey, hope all goes well and sooooo sorry to hear about the aborted Scottsdale plans – all the places you were going to visit are way cool – especially not in the summer – HA!(been there, lived there for a few months back when, done that and etc)
    peace, masked man!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a nice welcome back to the blogosphere from you, Laura! I look forward to whatever you write about — life’s adventures *or* musical ones.

      Oh, you wonderful South Carolinians. You guys really changed the entire nature of the race. Hats off to you! Our primary is coming up soon, but you guys really know how to do drama. 🙂

      Peace back at ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Welome back, Marty.
    Sorry to hear about your trip. Sounds wise in the face of Gorgeous’ medication.
    BTW – her painting is beautiful!
    I”ve missed your humour. I also loved the little Walmat ads for handsanitizer that appeared throughout your post. If only we could buy such a thing these days!
    Please don’t stay away too long this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Donna! That’s hilarious about the Walmart ads in my post. I had looked over Gorgeous’ shoulder when she read it later, but she had other ads (I can’t recall now what they were). I’m just grateful I’m no longer unwillingly shilling for the toe fungus medication that appeared last year. Ugh!


  7. Great to see you back here and writing. I’m sorry your vacay had to be cancelled [postponed?] but best to be safe and healthy. I was like you last fall when I got my Flu Shot, so proud that I’d not be bothered by that pesky illness– and now of course every breath of air inhaled outside my home may be the doom of me. Great time to be alive, ain’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ally! Yeah, it’s all very sobering, really. I’m not sure it’s appropriate to really make fun when so many people have died, but I suppose black humor does have its place too. We skipped the gym this morning solely because we weren’t in the mood to workout so close to others, ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I hope you had a nice blog break, Marty. I am amazed and impressed how some bloggers have the energy and interesting content to continue week after week. We are currently in South America, which has been relatively untouched by the virus, so far. If the virus continues or our elbowee-in-chief wins another term, we might just stay down here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Joe! I hear you about bloggers who just keep going, like the Energizer bunny. I admire them because I simply run out of ideas too fast. I hadn’t gotten to your blog yet (still catching up!), but I was wondering if you guys had hit the road again. Glad to hear where you are is safe, and I hope it stays that way. I just may join you there, post-November, if I have to!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, Marty! I just posted today for the first time since last November. I enjoy the process and the camaraderie with you and our fellow bloggers, but I am really lazy about it when I am at home.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s hilarious Marty. Every day I go to the supermarket. Still no toilet paper anywhere. People fighting like savages just over toilet paper. Now they are restricting just 1 packet each. Yet the shelves are still empty. I had the Queen Mary yesterday on tour. One client asked me for hand sanitiser. I replied we don’t have any. There’s soap and water just over there in the toilet. People have just gone bananas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good grief. That seems to be happening everywhere right now. Toilet paper, seriously? Why???! It makes no sense to me, such senseless hoarding. I can sort of see the hand sanitizer — sort of — but toilet paper?!!! People are nuts.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tracey! Yeah, it’s good to break the monotony of all the gloom with a little humor, if we can. Sickness and death are never funny, so I do need to be careful to not get carried away here.

      Gorgeous uses primarily pastels but occasionally acrylics and sometimes even water colors. For serendipity, she says she likes to add the odd tiny smidgen of house paint in certain places for texture, though she says purists tend to put their noses up at that kind of thing. 🙂 The flowers are a deviation of late; she’s primarily an abstract painter.


  10. I already sleep in a mask (the breathing sort for sleep apnoea) which Himself says sounds like he’s sharing a bed with Darth Vader. It took about 6 months for me to get used to it, but means I could cope with a surgical mask better than most – but hope not to have to. That said, you can’t get them for love nor money anyway…

    Oddly, the last handshake I had was from a medical professional – my surgeon at my follow-up appointment. He did a little gasp before laughing out loud, exclaiming “we’re not meant to do that – sorry, we both need to use the hand sanitizer!” Personally, I’m a hugger, so am having to seriously rein it in, but socialising now being off the agenda, it’s easier.

    Tell Gorgeous I love her painting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, we do what we need to do each night. I choose to look at it that our better haves are fortunate to be with such unique and colorful sleeping partners.

      Just be glad you’re doctor isn’t a hugger! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.