Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2020 >Daily Dispatch #91

April 1, 2020: This is . . . science!

When I was a kid, there was a television show called “Mr. Wizard.” A fellow with gray hair did science experiments. For instance, he put one bar of soap in warm water and another bar of soap in cold water – then he speculated as to which one of the two would float. They both floated. He also did other equally engrossing experiments. I was not all that impressed, and in fact this man’s efforts contributed to my becoming an English major.

I now live with a fellow who delights in putting scientific theory to practice. I was well aware of this today, when I asked him to watch a video with me. My good friend Fran Bundtzen sent it, via email. Another friend of ours, Robin Near, sent it on to Fran. I figured that because Fran sent it, I should watch it.

The presenter, a doctor, was demonstrating how we might keep from getting the coronavirus – one possible way of contracting the virus being through supermarket good transmissions.

Pete watched, rapt, as this fellow first put a bag of groceries on a counter with a line down the counter. One side was designated for the goods that were to be unpacked, and the other side was designated for the goods that were unpacked. The kitchen was airy, white, uncluttered, it appeared to be germ free.

Raudi at Rake Forest University
Raudi at Rake Forest University

The doctor, who was extremely articulate, did a good job of indicating why we all should take hands-on precautionary measures in dealing with groceries. He also provided a good visual image, suggesting that we think of the virus as being “like glitter, all over everything. His hands-on presentation was also excellent. “Freezing goods does not kill the virus,” he said, but he did recommend microwaving food, waiting until steam arose off the item in question.

He also demonstrated how to handle take-out items. It was about then that my attention began to waiver. True to form, I was always the first one out the door when we did science labs in high school and college. I was the last to leave class on just one occasion. We were to draw animal penises that were in jars of formaldehyde. Sheep, horse, cow, pig – I got into it.

Coincidently, Pete was getting ready to go shopping. After, I asked and was told that, yes, he would wash the vegetables and fruit in the sink before putting them respectively in the refrigerator and cupboard. And he would also put items in cardboard, in containers.

I was dubious because this seemed like an overwhelming task – I mean, doing things right looked like it would be arduous and time consuming. But as the good doctor said, “this will take time, and now we have time, right?”

We finished watching the video, and Pete headed to town. I decided to make things easier for him by sanitizing our kitchen. I washed all the items on our counters, and I washed and sanitized the counters themselves. This took me about two hours.

Pete came home with several bags of groceries and began doing as the good doctor had done; he cleaned, sorted, and sanitized our produce. It occurred to me that he could have given that presentation.

After, I felt really good about our combined effort. No, we are not going to get sick.

Next: 92. 4/2/20: If You Come to a Fork in the Road, Run for Your Life

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles