As the coronavirus saga continues, I find my curiosity triggered almost daily.  Something I have been wondering is, why is washing hands with soap and water so effective against COVID-19?  More effective, in fact, than hand sanitizer.  The answer is pretty cool.

Essentially, the “skin” of a virus is made of lipids (fats).  Normally, fats and water don’t mix.  Water alone will just run over COVID-19, leaving the virus untouched and active.   Soap attracts both fat and water, which means that soap bonds with the water AND the fat, pulling the virus apart and rendering it inert.  The virus is literally destroyed, its pieces washed away by the water.

The problem with alcohol-based sanitizers is that they are only effective if the alcohol content is at least 60% by volume.  If you use a minimally effective product, one that is just barely at the 60% mark, any sweat or other moisture on your hands can dilute the thin layer of sanitizer, bringing its alcohol content by volume below the effective 60% mark.  Science is cool.

And how about copper?  Yes, good old copper.  Believe it or not, copper is fantastic at killing microbes.  When a microbe lands on a copper surface, it is bombarded by copper ions that punch through the outer shell of a virus and interrupt its basic life processes.

Copper’s benefits have been recognized since ancient times when people noticed that water carried in copper vessels retained its quality longer.  This is not to say that wearing a copper bracelet will protect you from COVID-19.  But it does mean that if you are in the market for some new doorknobs or drawer handles, copper is worth spending a little extra.

Switching topics, I was recently asked for clarification about what I intend to do once I have a van.  Happy to answer.

Keeping in mind that COVID-19 has put a new twist on a lot of people’s plans, I am still eager to take on the road.  That’s the primary goal of all of this.  I expect that getting a van and fixing it up for travel will take at least a few more months.  Hopefully, by the time the pandemic has run its course, I’ll be just about ready to get going.

When I do take this show on the road, my intention is to just explore.  I don’t want to be a vanlife blog.  Just by the nature of my plans, I expect vanlife will be part of it, just not the focus.  Autism will likely also play a major part in my story, because it has for almost half a century and it’s not going to just stop.  But the primary focus, the overall theme of this thing I’m trying to build, will be my exploration of a category of people, places and things I label the “mirific world”.

Mirific means having to do with things miraculous, marvelous and magical.  Folklore and the paranormal have been powerful interests of mine for a very long time.  I love discovering new stories, new lore, new magic.  I love stories about mysterious creatures, hidden places and obscure cultural practices.  There’s something extremely powerful about knowing, about getting a peek behind the curtain, so to speak.

When I was much younger, I had the idea of buying a van and doing travel journalism.  Things got in the way.  I allowed distractions and the judgement of others about the “reality” of such a career to sway me away from my dream.  This was before YouTube, before reality shows, back in the long, long ago when the idea of someone just traveling around and sharing what they discovered along the way was still a rare thing.

I spent some time as a professional writer, but it was not enjoyable work.  How much enjoyment can you get from writing fluff pieces about man-cave furniture and interviews with bank execs.  My writing career did not endure, however.  But my love of story, of research and investigation, most certainly did. is my way of getting back to my dream, of learning and sharing and walking a path I set, instead of one set for me by others.  I hope that clarifies things somewhat.

Stay safe and always… EMBRACE YOUR WEIRD!

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