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My bottom and my bend

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“Start working on not touching your face because one main way viruses spread is when you touch your mouth, nose or eyes.”

As children, we had to wade through a lot of misinformation. We had to deal with adults who were bent on turning us into complete idiots.

When, for example, one asked for a second helping of the delicious Sunday dinner, you’d hear: “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach!”

This confused me. I would stand in front of the mirror and lift up my shirt, trying to compare the size of my eyes with my tummy.

Other times, when you’d struggle to perform a ‘simple’ task, you would hear that you didn’t know your arse from your elbow. I would lie awake at night reminding myself that my arse was the squishy area behind me, and my elbow was the bendy bit in the middle of my arm.

It didn’t end there. When we saw something interesting that the adults were eating and asked what it was. Eight out of 10 times we were told it was ‘hersse’. If you asked what hersse was, you’d be told it was ‘hersse met lang ore’.

Huh? Hersse with long ears? The problem was that to this day I still don’t know what hersse is!

One day the adults were eating a sour black paste – years later I discovered that it was tamarind. We got a bit to taste, but as we were tasting it we were told that it was toe-jam.

Needless to say, some of us didn’t eat tamarind for a few years.

They met their match when one of my sisters declared, at the tender age of four, that she liked toe-jam. The adults’ tamarind castle of lies came tumbling down that day.

However, it seems that reconstruction work has begun in the last few months.

Have you noticed how terrified everyone is? The other day I went to a store to get some vitamin C, seeing as it is one of my daily supplements. It was sold out, so was the zinc and most other immune-boosting supplements.

It worries me that people in a state of panic will gorge themselves on vitamins and supplements while not taking other simple precautions.

On Sunday I watched a health official making a statement about precautions to be taken to avoid contamination.

“Today,” she said, reading from a prepared statement, “start working on not touching your face because one main way viruses spread is when you touch your mouth, nose or eyes.”

Then she licked her finger to turn the page I groaned. If people who are supposed to be leading by example are not very good examples it’s obvious that in a crisis they don’t know their bottoms from their bendy bits.

There are too many people bent on spreading panic via social media. I don’t know what sadistic pleasure one gets from sending out every alarming text, video and announcement that their data plan will permit. So I have decided to take matters into my own 20-second-washed hands

For example, I learned that a good way to boost the body’s natural immunity is to avoid sugar.

Bacteria and viruses love sugar, so cutting sugar out of one’s diet makes your body and unwelcome viral dwelling.

Also eating good, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds helps one’s body to build resistance. So it will be good to lay off the bat soup for a while.

Getting regular aerobic exercise is another tick in the plus column, as is drinking sufficient water. Getting at least 10 minutes of sunshine on your skin a day helps the body produce vitamin D, while laying off the booze and smokes and eating temperately will give your body an opportunity to build itself up.

Another thing that builds a body and calms a mind is to breathe deeply a few times a day. Just sitting at your desk and inhaling will oxygenate your blood.

What you also want to do enough of is rest. We are running at high revs almost all the time, and our times of rest are being taken over by our devices so we are not getting time to decompress this stressed environment is a magnet for illnesses.

Finally, what I have found is that trust in a Divine power can give one an amazing sense of peace during stressful times. That is my personal experience.

There are also people who find benefit from meditation. Personally I have not tried it, because I find it easier to share my fears with Someone infinitely wiser than myself than trying to expel my concerns by human effort. It’s just the way I am wired, I suppose.

So during this scary time, look after yourself and try to calm down.