If we took the advice our mothers gave us years ago we might not be in the predicament that we are in, or at least it might not be as bad. In this pandemic of COVID-19, we have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Our mothers taught us how to avoid these situations.
Before COVID-19, she taught us to wash our hands. I am sure you remember how she held you up to the sink as you played in the water with the bar soap, and she explained why you needed to wash your hands. When you played in the dirt she had you wash your hands, before you ate anything you washed your hands, you were learning to be potty trained and you washed your hands.
Then one day she added another element to the hand washing routine. You sneezed or coughed, and she told you to cover your mouth, and then told you to wash your hands. Hand washing had become ingrained in us.
In the age of hand sanitizer, we started to disinfect our hands almost hourly. If we touched a doorknob, shook hands and more we were disinfecting our hands. What happened? Somewhere along the road, we didn’t teach our children and grandchildren this valuable lesson of personal hygiene–washing our hands, and covering our mouths.
Our mothers would not let us go to school with a fever because they didn’t want us to infect anyone else, but now our children play games with people’s lives trying to see who will be the first person to get sick. Most of the time our mothers used their hands to take temperatures. If they felt that you had a fever, you couldn’t go out to play or visit your grandparents because the grandparents were older and might catch whatever you had. It was called common courtesy.
Our mothers taught us along with our teachers to read, write, have a good conversation so that boredom would not settle in and cripple us. We learned to eat what we had because we ate to live not live to eat. We played on the front porch, ran in the backyard with most games we made up ourselves. Our mothers taught us to use our imagination. They taught us to play alone and with others. They taught us to set the table for dinner (we called it supper), sit down and eat as a family, and have great conversations about almost anything.
We’re not saying that these things would have stopped the pandemic, but since the experts are telling us to do these things now, it probably would have helped. If we remembered what our mothers taught us we wouldn’t have to go grocery shopping daily so that our families could eat, we could make a meal out of almost anything, they did and we enjoyed them. If we had listened to our mothers we would know more about our children because we would take the time to talk, listen, and discuss while we sat down to dinner.
Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Let’s remember what our mothers taught us–wash our hands, cover our mouths, love your family, and make the best out of any situation. Be safe and wear a mask–if not for you then for others.
**Hand washing poster by Royal Pharmaceutical Society