by Regina Chille
We are living in unprecedented times.
Stores have gallon jugs of hand sanitizer for us to clean our hands with before, during, and after we leave stores. Shelves are barren of all types of antibacterial cleaners. We’re hoarding anything to keep us and our families safe from this unseen enemy. Short of going out into the world in bubbles, how exactly are we supposed to protect ourselves from our current situation?
I know what my grandmother, whom I affectionately called Moma, (and yes, I know that is not how you spell Momma, but that is how she spelled it) would have said. Having lived through outbreaks and pandemics, she believed she had discovered the secret to boosting the immune system. It was called the Handi Wipe. And indeed it was. It was always handy, and she wiped up anything with it.
Moma used the Handi Wipe to wash our dishes and wipe up the juice that ran off a piece of raw chicken. She used it as her personal napkin and tissue. And when she was done with kitchen duty, she turned its attention to us grandchildren, to wipe our faces.
Moma knew that she had some type of secret weapon that was chock full of immune building antibodies. And the power of this miracle cloth was in its care, or lack thereof. She never washed it, except for a rinse after she washed the kitchen sink.
Moma did not have a fear of germs (or salmonella, considering that I remember her making eggnog with raw eggs). And no one in our family objected. We also rarely got sick.
Studies have shown that exposure to certain germs can help boost the immune system, and maybe there is some truth to that.
I can see her now, standing at the counter in our kitchen getting dinner ready with the Handi Wipe draped over her shoulder, like a fashionable scarf, or else tucked up the sleeve of her sweater, proud she had the cure-all.
If she were still here, I wonder what Moma might say to Dr. Fauci?
“Anthony, mandate masks made of used Handi Wipes.”