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  • Writer's pictureDrSwae

The Whole World is Washing - written 2020

Today is Sunday, so technically we are not in "school" but since our lessons are intermittent I really can't pass up the opportunity for some geography.

This is the map we have in the kitchen. You might think it is a funny place to have a map, and you're probably right. But really, we all spend so much time in there that where better to put one? (Scott and I did debate putting one in the bathroom once).

Anyway, this morning while making breakfast, I thought it was important to talk to the boys about how the changes brought on by these uncertain times are not only happening to us. This is a global issue. And changes are affecting so many people, in all corners of the earth, in one way or another. In a strange way, this is comforting.

It's like a little ray of sunshine, knowing we are not alone, especially since they can't really see their friends much right now.

People all over the world are working on mastering this social distancing/social isolation situation. This is very hard work to say the least.

In fact, we had an 8 yo friend's birthday party today and it was all of us in our cars (of course mine wasn't decorated because of time). Anyway we were all honking, waving, singing as the sweet little birthday girl stood outside her house, completely shocked and happy, with so many of us grownups shouting our wishes through happy tears.

It was hard for the kids to understand that they couldn't leave the cars, though. I had to give at least one sort of a gentle shove back inside the window.

I totally understood how he felt. Like most of the other families in the birthday parade, it was our only outing for days, if not weeks. Otherwise we have been alone.

There are so many incredibly important lessons right now for the kids, for us all.

And there are so many challenges.

Maybe the biggest one yet for my little boys (read: for their mama) is the hand washing. Hand washing keeps us safe, plain and simple. What if I end up going into the office for an urgent case? Don't want anyone getting sick. I have always been a math person, and I need to keep my numbers low. My germ numbers that is.

So this is us.

One hundred fifty thousand times a day. And let me tell you it takes a lot to drag these little rascals to the sink. Times four.

Normally I buy this very cool soap from a sweet woman I know.

Or my oldest made this one at a fair once.

I promise it's clean. It just looks sort of funny. But it was a sweet idea and he did a beautiful job on it. Those wool hairs are actually supposed to be there, oddly enough.

But these days I just can't use a bar soap. I'm using mostly pump soap, and there are so many good ones to choose. I'm super not into the "antibacterial" part of soaps. Most of that stuff is no good for skin and certainly no good for children's skin. And this time it's not bacteria we are even thinking about anyway.

Do you want to know a really cool thing about soap? It has a fat loving part and a water loving part. And the fat loving part kind of swallows up and starts to destroy viruses and then the water loving part swoops it all away down the drain. Who even knew how much soap could target a virus?! I never thought about it much before.

But remember that I'm a dermatologist, so I can't really endorse washing hands so much without an equal endorsement for moisturizing. Do it. It will really help your sore skin. Especially for those intrepid, wonderful people on the front lines.

Take care of those hands that heal.

I just feel like all of this gives me hope in a way. True, we are not together in the same way we have been in the past. But, all our efforts at distancing are for a better future. We have a plan. We're all doing what we can. Things are different now, but there is still hope and love. Birthday parties may not have the cake and ice cream that kids usually devour (my kids anyway). But they still have the love and the friendship. They still have all the marvelous hope for a healthy year to come. And honestly, my kids loved the honking horns. So did their mama.

And when we came home, we saw these.

I just felt better knowing tomorrow will bring another day. xo, Dr. Swae


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