Coronavirus: Relearning good manners

You’ve heard the message. We’ve heard it so much over the past three weeks, you can probably repeat it in your sleep: Wash your hands. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Stay inside if you’re sick. Be kind to others.

crayons-1445053_640The medical doctor on TV talked animatedly with her hands to the reporters and audience watching on all the steps you should take to avoid contracting the deadly Covid-19 virus. Since first uncovered in China, the number of Coronavirus cases across the globe has swollen to more than 420,000 with more than 18,0000 deaths. In the U.S. alone the number has jumped to 53,000 and 700 deaths. (The numbers have jumped so much that I found editing this piece challenging; they kept jumping every time I checked.)

games-2801332_640The doctor though continued on with her advice.

–Stand back from others.

–Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

–Clean frequently and pick up after yourself.

All pretty simple advice.

As much as she talked though, I couldn’t help but think of the lessons we all got as youngsters. The doctor’s advice sure sounded like basic good manners, the same that we learned from our parents or in kindergarten. My mind flashbacked to a long-forgotten preschool teacher in the front of a semicircle of classmates telling us:

–Don’t talk with your mouth full.

–Cover your mouth.

–Wash your hands.

–Clean up your own messes.

kid-2605810_640We’re in the middle of a major pandemic, the size and scope we have never seen, and we have a long way to go, but the more I think about the preventative advice, the more I’m convinced that, with some basic common sense, we’ll get through this.

We will overcome. We will come out on the other side. We just need to work hard and remember a few good basic manners.

It could be wishful thinking on my part, but having good manners doesn’t sound like a bad idea.


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