Linda Siska: The ‘coronaglitter factory’ | TheUnion.com
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Linda Siska: The ‘coronaglitter factory’

Other Voices
Linda Siska

I have a confession to make. I hate glitter. I know, I know, it’s pretty and it’s shiny and it sparkles, but it gets everywhere and it’s dang hard to get rid of. You know what I mean.

I know you know what I mean! So maybe that’s why I started thinking of the coronavirus as glitter, and the more I thought of the coronavirus that way, the more I began to understand how it spreads and how we might get rid of it.

Think of it this way — an infected person is like a “coronaglitter factory,” making thousands of teeny, weeny coronaglitter particles that escape in little puffs every time that person breathes, and in much bigger puffs every time that person talks, and in big, huge explosions every time that person coughs or sneezes. If you happen to be in the vicinity when that occurs, and if you breathe in some of that glitter, you become a coronaglitter factory, too.

Or if you get that glitter on your hands because you touch something a glitter factory touched or breathed or sneezed upon, and then you forget to wash your hands and you, “Oh no!,” touch your nose or your eyes or your mouth and now you have it and you are a coronaglitter factory and you don’t even know it and you start making your own glitter and you spread it to your friends and family and really, how could you? Think of Grandma (P.S., I’m a grandma, not your grandma, but you can think of me if you wish. I don’t mind).

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So, how about this? How about if we all wear a mask when we are out in public?

So how do we stop the spread of coronaglitter? You know the drill. Repeat after me: “Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Stay home. Keep your distance when you do go out.” Very good! “But what about masks?” you say. I thought you would never ask. Well, the CDC says we don’t need masks because they don’t block all the glitter from getting in. Some of the glitter might sneak in around the edges of the mask, or filter in through the tiny holes. However, the CDC says, masks do a pretty good job of keeping glitter factories from spreading their glitter. Which is pretty important if you could be a glitter factory and not know it.

So, how about this? How about if we all wear a mask when we are out in public? If I’m a glitter factory, you won’t get my glitter. And if you’re a glitter factory, I won’t get yours.

And if we all wear masks, all of us, then maybe we can begin to reopen our stores and get back to something closer to normal. But they have to be effective masks, not just a scarf or a bandana or a folded T-shirt because scarves and bandanas and T-shirts don’t keep the glitter in. You can make an effective mask out of a folded shop towel, a couple of rubber bands and a few staples. Or you can get fancy and make one with a pocket for a filter and a wire nose piece. Google it. There are all kinds of options out there that really work at keeping coronaglitter from spreading, and that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, a scientist, or an infectious disease expert. However, I am a mom, a grandma, and a retired elementary school teacher, so I’ve had a lot of experience with glitter.

Linda Siska lives in Grass Valley.


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