In these days of coronavirus, we’ve all been inundated with advice on how to avoid the fast spreading, highly contagious virus, such as don’t touch your face. As a result?
My face has never before itched with such a relentless intensity. Never. Not once. And I had the chicken pox, as well as the measles, but they were a walk in the park compared to this chronic and persistent urge. It’s like I use a poison ivy facecloth. Everything itches all the time. My eyes. My eyebrows. My cheeks. My chin. And, of course, my nose and mouth, those gateways to certain doom. I try not to scratch by twitching and fidgeting, instead. I wrinkle my nose, use my shoulder, but eventually and inevitably I cave. I’m a weak woman.
An itchy face, however, is only one in a series of newly emerging impulses. Now, out of nowhere, I have an overwhelming desire to hold hands and hug people — friends and strangers alike. I want to touch banisters and elevator buttons, doorknobs and shopping cart handles; I want to hang out in overcrowded public venues and kiss every person there. I’m jonesin’ to board a cruise ship and sail off into the sunset.
This, sadly, is my normal. You know the most shocking part of all? I’m still alive. And old. I’ve survived all manner of stoopid dares and dumb stunts, accidents and illnesses and injuries. Believe me, I know I’m asking for trouble. I warn me, ‘stop, this is crazy and it’s dangerous.’ Then another part of me hollers, ‘shaddup.’ And that’s my life. One voice saying ‘don’t do it,’ the other answering ‘drop dead.’
On the upside, I spend three-quarters of the day standing at the sink scrubbing the skin off my hands. They’re chapped and cracked and ruby red. People stare at them when I’m scratching my face, probably wondering if I wash them with a cheese grater. Which, no, I don’t.
Well, stay healthy and germ-free, everyone. Don’t be like me, keep your hands away from your face. Wash them often and thoroughly with soap. Avoid crowds. Eat well. Get plenty of rest. Take vitamins. And we’ll all live to a ripe old age. Probably.
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