Friday, May 8, 2009

Green Living by Janet Marchant: Is Mother Earth Looking Green Around the Gills?

Achoo! Is that the flu? Yes, but not your ordinary flu. As you may know, Alameda is facing a global pandemic, which means that the planet itself is sick. And since we all live on the planet, we could get sick too.

Mother Earth will get better faster if we all give her some peace and quiet. That means staying indoors, which will also keep us away from our contagious planet. If you must go outside, follow these simple precautions for coping with a pandemic, or preparing for the possibility of one (I've gotten my lists a little mixed up, so I'm not sure which tips are which):

  1. Do not allow any part of you to touch any part of the planet at any time. That means no touching grass, rocks, dirt, sidewalks, and certainly not pigeons. If any of your clothing brushes against part of the planet, burn it upon reaching your destination, so as to avoid infecting yourself or others. You may want to stock up on shoes.
  2. Try not to breathe whenever you are not safely inside a building. This may be a challenge for those of you with long commutes. You might want to consider working from home until the pandemic is over.
  3. Watch out for people who may have been infected by the planet. They may show no outward signs at first, but sooner or later they will start wearing hemp and chunky sandals, and chewing on oat groats. Make sure to stay ten or twenty feet away from them, and from anyone else who might be infected and not yet showing it.
  4. Avoid touching things that Mother Earth-infected people may have touched. That includes doorknobs, elevator buttons, money, food. Anything! If you have to touch anything, be sure to sterilize it first. For non-flammable items, such as doorknobs, a few passes with a flame-thrower should do the trick. Then, be sure to let the knob cool before turning it. For most other objects, I carry a small bottle of alcohol with me. The alcohol is also useful if I fear that I have been exposed to the illness. I take a big swig of it to wipe out any viruses that may have gotten inside me. I think I'd better drink some of it now, since just thinking about illness is making me feel a little ill.

    Where was I? Oh, yes, I remember.
  5. Wash your hands. That's what Mom always told you, right? I'm not sure why washing your hands is on this list, but Mom is never wrong. She also said to put some ice in your drink to mix out the alcohol a little. I'm gonna get some ice and come right back.
  6. Do not spill your alcohol everywhere while trying to add the ice. Of course, the kitchen is a whole lot safer from viruses now. Thanks, Mom! That was good advice after all.
  7. If you get sick anyway, Mom will take care of you. Mom's the greatest. Don't be offended if she wears a mask and gloves while bringing you your chicken soup, though, because moms can get sick, too, you know. Even Mother Earth can get sick. That's what a global pandemic is all about.

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