Hands of God? Cosmic Musings
COVID Note: We Still Need to Wash Our Hands!
When scientists realized that COVID spreads primarily via minuscule airborne particles, most of us pretty much stopped worrying about washing our hands or using hand sanitizer.
But as Your Local Epidemiologist says, "it’s clear that a vaccine-only approach isn’t going to get the United States out of this pandemic." Hand hygiene is still an important layer in the "Swiss cheese" approach to infection prevention--personal, national and global. That is, each slice of Swiss has holes somewhere, but if we are strategic about the placement, several slices together will give us a stack with cheese coverage across all areas--no holes!
The slices, especially in the midst of the omicron surge, should include: masking (especially indoors), vaccines and boosters, social distancing (yes, still, and even if you are vaccinated!), testing, contact tracing AND handwashing.
As Fidelma Fitzpatrick, Irish Microbiologist and author, notes: "We aren’t certain what the minimum infectious dose of SARS-CoV-2 is, but recent reports suggest that only a few hundred virus particles (called 'virions') are enough to infect a susceptible person. And our face is a handy portal for these viruses to enter our body."
"It’s not vaccines instead of masks," says the director of WHO, the World Health Organization. "It’s not vaccines instead of distancing. It’s not vaccines instead of ventilation or hand hygiene. Do it all. Do it consistently. Do it well.”
As you very likely know, actually washing your hands with soap and water is best, but if that's not feasible hand sanitizers are a very good substitute.
Anti-Anxiety Tool of the Week: Dance While You Wash Your Hands (or do the dishes, or brush your teeth)
I've found it's much more fun to wash my hands if I'm singing and dancing--and it turns out that two verses of "The Hokey-Pokey" take just about 20 seconds. I'm sure you can come up with other handwashing songs as well. Dancing can make other chores go a little more easily too. So why not be playful?
This tool is from Anti-Anxiety Toolkit #5. Here's the Index of all toolkits. And The Mini-Toolkit: For Those with Little or No Time.
Hands of God? Cosmic Musings
I like to muse about cosmic things sometimes. Occasionally I share those cosmic musings in this blog. But they are not creeds or even opinions, just some of my wanderings in the realm of wonder. So don't take them too seriously. I'm just a meandering fool of a human who likes to think about strange, lovely, and sometimes difficult things.
I found myself wondering about God the other day (as I often do): the mysterious, the unfathomable, the achingly beautiful unknown. Perhaps defined as "that which cannot be defined."
My mind moves naturally to metaphor--it's just the way I think. But even a million metaphors would not be enough for that which I call God. But each one might help us know, or understand, or connect just a leetle bit more. Or each one might help us know a little more how ineffable God truly is. Ineffable and oh so present. Inhaling and exhaling. Being love.
What were those recent wonderings? Things like: Is there anywhere God isn't? Does God grow? Does God have an edge? Are we, somehow, God's growing edge, or part of it?
Liz Gilbert said something intriguing along these lines in Eat. Pray. Love. Actually she said a lot of intriguing things in that book--this one relates specifically to hands.
"We have hands," she wrote. "We can stand on them if we want to. That's our privilege. That's the joy of a mortal body. And that's why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through our hands."
She's talking about an interactive edge here, a connective edge of relationship. And--what an intriguing idea--do we have something God does not have? God is infinite--in part--via us? Are we God's hands?
Here's another possible metaphor: God is the trunk and we are branches and twigs of the tree. As I started musing about this, a scene floated up into my memory. It turned out to be from Prince Caspian, the 2nd book in The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis.
"Lucy...wondered what the Trees were doing. At first she thought they were merely dancing; they were certainly going round slowly in two circles....Then she noticed that they kept throwing something down in the center of both circles. Sometimes she thought they were cutting off longs strands of their hair; at other times it looked as if they were breaking off bits of their fingers--but, if so, they had plenty of fingers to spare and it did not hurt them. But whatever they were throwing down, when it reached the ground, it became brushwood or dry sticks. Then three of four Red Dwarfs came forward with their tinder boxes and set light to the pile, which first crackled , and then blazed, and finally roared as a woodland bonfire on midsummer night ought to do."
I love that it didn't hurt the Trees when they broke off their fingers, and that they had plenty of wood to spare. And that the fingers and hair changed from parts of a living Tree to fuel for a bonfire once they touched the ground. And all this was part of a dance.
Are we God's fingers, separated (without pain) to build a Fire...of love...wonder...maybe even a little insanity?
Does God feel--and feed--the world through our hands?
Until next time,
Soapy hands, unknown
Swiss cheese, unknown
Dancing in the kitchen, unknown
Sailing through stars, Johannes Plenio, unSplash
Hand lights, Marcus Wallis, unSplash
Bonfire, Kevin Wolf, unSplash
Bread, Kate Remmer, unSplash