You may or may not have seen the recent video of everyone’s favorite supermodel, and personal favorite of mine–Naomi Campbell–donning a Hazmat suit for a brief aerial jaunt across coasts from LAX to NY.

Some would call her surprisingly chic-looking, defensive regalia extreme, but I knew there was a reason I fell in love with that girl. She’s a genius. Because she’s a woman after my own heart.

Listen. I’ve been doing the same shit (and having the same thoughts) as Naomi with regard to sanitation practices since before Coronavirus and prior to this video going viral last year.

I was on a connecting flight from Germany to South Africa last year, and before getting comfortably settled in for the near 12-hour flight, began disinfecting anything I might touch with antibacterial wipes. This white man studied me closely, probably wondering WTF my endgame was, but IDGAF. I ain’t new ta dis. I’m true ta dis. Do it on domestic flights, too. People can look all they want. I will not be ‘shamed.

When flying, I always wear glasses or an eye mask when resting or sleeping and ensure my nose and mouth are covered. A while back, my mom gifted me with a huge shawl/blanket/scarf/pashmina. That thing has been used to block more viruses than a CDC vaccination. Protecting your mucus membranes ain’t no joke. The last time I didn’t, I think I actually contracted Coronavirus, a recent conclusion I reached. This was in January–before the epidemic was extensively sensationalized and became universally synonymous with fear. I’m certain I walked through somebody’s sneeze droplets–likely on a plane. Two days prior, I’d attended a party. A day after my flight, and being in an international airport, no less–I woke up feeling deathly ill, having difficulty both swallowing and breathing. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with the flu (sans an official flu test), but hindsight is 20/20. To be clear, I isolated myself from others (because you should be considerate and do that with any communicable sickness), and I’m fine now.

Prior to takeoff, I also protect the headrest with a barrier after disinfecting, as well and make sure my skin is covered from head to toe most of the time–especially during colder months.

True story. Planes wouldn’t be so gross if the people on them weren’t.

I’ll be candid. I’m a germophobe. I’ve had OCD since I was a child. The real one, not the one everybody likes to joke around about and pretend they have. I was clinically diagnosed in college, so it probably adds an extra layer of vigilance to my hygienic routines. I give houseguests clean socks specifically purchased for people entering my home. Because I don’t know what sort of cross-contamination situation may be happening on the soles of their own socks. The wrong type of germs can give me anxiety and bring me to the verge of a panic attack. I ask the nurses in medical settings if they’re using clean needles when I have to get stuck. I’ve definitely gotten some looks. But there are worse things I could make habits of.

I’ve seen some things that I’m unable to unsee, and I oft wonder what type of home training these people had–or lacked. I told my mom a story about some rando Black dude open-mouth coughing in my aisle at Target last week, and she went AWF. She instructed me to carry a bottle of Lysol around and just spray it in the direction of folks who decide they wanna open-mouth cough and shit. She said if people want to do stupid stuff and act ridiculous, that I should be ridiculous, too. Then she rushed me off the phone so she could catch The Bold and the Beautiful.

I mentioned Mom’s advice to my sister, and she informed me to purchase the Lysol with the mist nozzle as opposed to the stream that sprays in a straight line because big sis didn’t want to catch me on the news…for assaulting a stranger with Lysol, basically. I’ll certainly be picking up a fresh bottle in the near future granted the doomsday preppers haven’t purchased them all to hoard.

In the interim, word to the wise. Some of you non-conformists would do well to plagiarize a page from Nai Nai’s playbook. Americans do not have the time, money or health insurance coverage to roll the dice on this one. Nearly half of us are uninsured or underinsured.

…Yet y’all playin’ and still not washing your damn hands! I know this because every time I go to the store, ALL the hand sanitizer and antibac wipes are ghost, but there’s TONS of hand soap just waiting to be plucked from the shelves and taken to its final resting place–your house.

Being vigilant about hygienic practices should be a part of one’s every day shenanigans, not ONLY when you think the zombie apocalypse is imminent and you’re gonna get a virus that juuust might kill your ass.

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