Are you confused about cleaning/disinfecting during the coronavirus pandemic? Me too. (Photo taken in the sweet town of Villedieu.)
Today's word(s): Tout ira bien
: All will be well*
*Famous words of Julian of Norwich
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse
One week into confinement and I'm waving a white flag of surrender: this time over the obsession to control germs. As you will soon learn, I am not a germaphobe. But like you, I've stepped up my routine: when washing up at the sink, I now rub down handles with my soapy hands, wash the dishtowels daily, and go over buttons, handles, and knobs with a soapy cloth. OK, I did that twice before realizing my family of 4 would continue to use the microwave, the doorknobs, the sink...and they would carry on sneezing, coughing, and breathing on things. Should I keep passing behind them with my soapy sponge? No! It is impossible to keep surfaces germ free all of the time, what with everyone touching everything, all of the time.
During my daily nap/Youtube session (reprieve from it all) a few video recommendations caught my eye. The first program asked, Do You Know the Difference between Cleaning, Sanitising, and Disinfecting?
When the gracious host/professional cleaner admitted that on a daily basis a simple soap and water solution in a spray bottle is sufficient, I breathed a sigh of relief (dish soap and a clean cloth or sponge are my methods for both cleaning and, I suppose, sanitization). But when our Youtube expert turned her attention to the third possibility, I had to admit I had never used a disinfectant. In fact, it's been on my shopping list--to buy as soon as the lines outside of the stores go away. Will they?
Meantime, another suggestion popped up on YouTube. Clicking open the video, I listened to a woman explain how she washes all of her groceries and the sacks in which they were delivered. Next, she admitted that she changes out of her clothes and into fresh vêtements before entering her bedroom--her own sanctuary from germs--to rest.
Snuggled in under my own bedcovers a realization came over me: I had worked all morning in the garden, and then cleaned the chicken run before heading in for my sieste. Lying there in my jeans and my dusty fleece jacket I could now imagine the sheer number of contaminants I had carried into my own sanctuaire. For a moment I felt filthy in the world's eyes.... until images of childhood flooded my mind in a most soothing way.
Nothing's changed since mon enfance. I still take naps after playing in the dirt. And everything has always been and is still OK, and....
"All shall be well,
And all shall be well,
And all manner of things shall be well"
Tout ira bien, et tout ira bien, et tout ne peut qu'aller bien. Julienne de Norvich's words are greatly calming--as is a call to my sister, Heidi, who gives me a crash course in le nettoyage: "Bleach is a good disinfectant." OK, I think I've got that somewhere. Tout ira bien.
EDIT ME: If you see une faute de frappe (typo) in French or in English, I would greatly appreciate it if you would point it out in the comments or via email. Merci beaucoup!
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P.S.: Do you ever take a nap in your work clothes?
P.P.S. About most germs: Mom adds that sunshine and fresh air are cleansing, and that we should never quit playing in the dirt. I leave you with bon courage wishes, and a screenshot from my sister (I have two soeurs) and me on Facetime. I'm wearing the computer-generated heart-glasses and my trusty dusty fleece jacket. Heidi's got computerized bunny ears. It's Heidi's birthday on March 27th. Joyeuse anniversaire en avance. Thanks for being such a great sister and best friend. XOXOXOXO
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety