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April 2, 2020

The other night we watched the 1974 horror comedy film directed by Mel Brooks, Young Frankenstein starring Gene Wilder. After the young Dr. “Frahnk-en-steen” discovers that he has inherited the estate of his infamous grandfather in Transylvania, he journeys to the castle. At the train station when he must bid a “sad” farewell to his fair lady, they can’t kiss because it will mess up her lipstick (she’s headed for a party afterwards); he can’t hug her because it will wrinkle her dress; and he can’t touch her hair because that would mess it up. So, they elbow-bumped. Something we all know too well these days.

Louie put in a call to his cousin yesterday. Sheltering at home he said he and his wife (she has a weakened immune system) are doing the best they can. “This is like a movie…,” he said in disbelief. Their adult children remind them over and over not to venture out. And they’re heartbroken because they can’t hug their grandkids.

A colleague of Louie’s shared that she is so frightened to contract the virus because of her long-time compromised immune system. She brings in the main income for the family and fears that if she gets the virus, she will not survive it. Her adult daughters are fierce protectors of their Mama.

Information from Johns Hopkins Hospital indicates that the virus is a mean sucker. A most fascinating thing I learned is that it is not a living organism, but a protein molecule. And the reason we must wash our hands for at least 20 seconds is because the molecule is covered with a layer of fat. When this fat comes in contact with our mouths, nasal mucosa, or eye cells, it mutates into aggressive cells and multiplies. HOLY MOLY. This is why we must wash our hands for 20 seconds or longer!! The soapy foam we create by washing longer “CUTS the FAT.” When this fat layer dissolves, “the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own.”

Now, washing my hands until they’re sudsy is no longer an inconvenience.

Again, Louie took refuge in the kitchen. This time he made a Mexican comfort meal – a pot of cocido – or beef stew with plenty of potatoes, carrots, onions, squash and cabbage. Slurping the healthy broth never felt so good.

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