Smelling My Underams
The COVID19 pandemic will probably go down as one of most transformational periods of the century, even though we are only 20 years into it. While much as been made of the effects of the pandemic at the national and international levels, the personal human stories have been lagging. Admittedly I switched off getting updates- too damn depressing and not enough focus on recovery. So what has the pandemic and lock- in (deliberate choice of word), meant for me. Unlike some of the more edifying stories, via social media and rare TV reports, for me it has been a time to behave in a manner, with increasing relish, of absolute irresponsibility at home. No, I don't mean ignoring advice on staying safe, I mean a pattern of behaviour that has emerged, which I became conscious of and quickly decide to adapt, as standard.
It does have a mental impact, we don't need psychologist on TV to tell us that. Deserted streets, eerie silence and enclosed space (unless you live in a mansion), weird new social norms, everyone in masks and some latex gloves. Its unnerving, walking in a type of 'I am Legend' (the film) post apocalyptic world. After a few days, locked- in, I began to get increasing aware of the boredom, the lack of stimulus, having initially engaged in numerous activities, to stave, it off. Lots of conversations, via chats and messaging, old DVD catch ups, streaming, had kept me occupied and buoyed my spirit. Then suddenly wham... I'd had enough, even regular meditation couldn't help. So I caved in and I have no regrets, of my coping mechanisms.
Smelling my Underarms.
Lazing in bed, early nights, slouching on the sofa, legs hanging over the back, switching channels and YouTube kicked things off. I quickly went into full relax and chill mode thereafter. Not going anywhere, I slobbed in the same top and bottoms for far longer than I normally would. Stopped caring, wasn't going anywhere, no need for the effort of make - up ....mask put paid to that, for grocery shopping. From chill mode, came don't care mode. My normal morning shower, slid into, 'shower whatever time of the day', nightwear till midday (and longer), gorge on my favourite chocolate, even went as far as fizzy drinks, which I put great effort into avoiding.
Out of habit, from my pre- teens, antiperspirant came after my 'whatever time of the day shower'. The finale in coping, was no antiperspirant. I was fully expecting smelly underarms for in doors, though I made up my mind early, to spare fellow grocery shoppers of my pheromones. I was surprised, I couldn't smell my underarms, despite lifting my arms for a whiff many times. So I decided on an experiment. How long could I go before I would get an unfriendly whiff in this state?
Answer, still not got one after 3 weeks, despite a strong sense of smell. I have to lift up my arms and get my nose really close to my armpits, for any type of what I now call, natural fragrance. This opposed to the artificial, chemical ridden roll - on that has been the norm for decades (tried natural antiperspirant for a period then went back to chemicals years ago). I did get something nasty in passing once, but it turned out to be my deliberately overused top, when, once changed, eliminated the problem!!
Sadly in no time soon, I'll be back to my pre - COVID days, drenched in chemicals and poisons, commercialised to make me believe, I would be doing mankind a disfavour, if I showered and didn't follow - up with deodorant, perfume/ body spray.
My COVID Lessons
I have learnt that much of my beauty regime is over rated. Make - up free, messy hair (a hat hides nicely), no deodorant, no squish of perfume, no requirement for multiple change of clothes, brought home, just how fickle and unimportant some things are in life. It also taught me what is actually important in life, the feel of fresh vegetables, the joy of cooking, the faces of other people, the ease of social interactions, the noise of life, the bustle of living, the vibrancy and contributions of, what we often do not notice but is essential, to a healthy happy life; getting to know your armpits, daily chores and missing loved ones.
For those that may wish to try this challenge, I'll add that my armpits are hair free, which no doubt helps!
Image from the cartoonist Group.
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