The Caramel Crunch (14 March 2020)

Over at Caramel (Learner at Love), CARAMEL has started a new prompt. I’d like to see her prompt do well, and I had some time today to write a post, so here we go…

The prompts are called the Caramel Crunch and so far are centered around a moral question. For your convenience I shall repeat her question.

You have met someone you really like. There has been some innocent flirting between you and after exchanging phone numbers you have been in contact frequently and been out for a couple of dates. It is still early days though. Your life long best friend tells you that they have met someone and have fallen in love and it turns out to be that same person. Your best friend is a little shy, but they tell you they want to ask the person you have been flirting with out on a date. What do you do?

Okay, let’s take this bit by bit.

Two friends, going out casually with the same partner. I don’t necessarily see a problem there, don’t even think that the partner has an obligation to disclose, but the keyword is casual. I think there is a point at which the partner needs to make a choice – one, the other, or neither, but I certainly think that there is some period of time before that when seeing more than one person is acceptable.

So, you both find out you’ve been dating the same person.

Here’s what I’d like to say:

  • that your friend comes first, that your friend will be your friend long past a partner (mostly). So, the friendship is more important than any relationship.

Here’s what always happened to me (and to my friends):

  • you drop all your friends for the new partner. The reason they are friends is because they somehow accept this, and will be your friend again once the partner is an ex-partner. That is always how it worked out in the real world.

So what do you do in this specific scenario?

I think the question is loaded a bit. Your friend is shy. So perhaps they have more of a problem finding a partner? Also, they are your best friend – so shouldn’t you do everything for each other?

Well, certainly that last part cuts both ways. And as for the first part, if your friend ever found out you acted out of pity, I doubt they’d be your friend much longer.

So, what are the options?

  • You give up the partner so your friend has a clear run. Very possibly, a big loss on your part. I think we meet so few potential life partners that if we think we have found one, we should really follow it through. So, not ideal.
  • Or, your friend does the same. Ditto.
  • Or, maybe you both sit down with the partner? So he chooses one of you? But by forcing the issue, maybe you are just priming the partner up to choose neither of you? So again, the odds seem stacked against you.

I dunno. Is there any way you could carry on seeing this partner, let things run their course with them, and claim ignorance if the **** ever hits the fan? I’ve often found in other situations that it is better appear a little more ignorant than we actually are.

I guess if none of those is an option, you’re choosing between your friend and your partner.

Or, I did see a documentary last year about polyamourous people – they do exist, apparently 🙂.

Now, please wash your hands

The Flu Virus

Politicians throughout this outbreak, and previous outbreaks, have said that the advice is to make sure you wash your hands. Have you ever wondered why?

Okay, let’s have a go. Biology is not my usual subject area, so I am paraphrasing from somebody I know, who does have some idea how biology works.

You heard of lipids, right? Think back to your last cholesterol test – LDL, HDL? Those are low-density and high-density lipids that are being measured. If you’re still in the dark, no problem, they are defined here (Wikipedia), or an easier-to-read explanation here on some medicine-explained site.

Keep that in your mind. The structure of any virus – regular flu, COVID-19, any of them – is that you have the key part of the virus (the RNA – like DNA, but for viruses), but that is surrounded by this envelope of lipids. These are what protect the virus, they form a barrier around it. This is why it can sit on a surface and remain active for hours or even days.

Take away those lipids, and the virus is screwed. No protection, so it can’t survive on its own.

Lipids happen to be soluble in soap. Common or garden soap, that we have all been using forever. So, you get soap on your hands, it dissolves the lipids protecting the virus, the virus dies. Simple as, but who knew?

My mate compared the situation to when we would paint something. To rinse the brush in water was no good, but rinsing it in turpentine got the brush clean. It’s the exact same process going on – paint is soluble in turps.

Incidentally, anti-bacterial? Forget it, this is a virus, not a bacteria. You’re wasting your money if you pay extra.

I guess there’s a moral here. If somebody tells you to do something, ask ’em why. Ask questions. I haven’t heard any of this through the media, just through my network of friends – I’m fortunate enough to know some intelligent people.


Postscript

This is not really related to the post, but it is related to the virus. Friday evening, I heard my first “success story” personally.

Okay, okay, I know how bad things can be, but I went on about this last week. The media are concentrating on the worst cases because they are more newsworthy.

This guy is a 28yo male. I have no idea whether he has other health issues, but I assume not, at age 28. He is the son of a friend’s workmate, so the link is not very strong, but it is at least a case I have known personally. He fell ill Tuesday with the virus. He stayed home, felt rough for a few days. On Friday (yesterday), he was starting to feel better. He described it as feeling just like flu. I guess he’s intending keeping his head down until next Tuesday at least – the advice here is seven days.

Okay, I know many of us do have other health issues, but I just wanted to make you aware of a “best case” scenario, because the media isn’t doing so. I know too that we are being warned not to compare this thing to flu so as not to trivialise it, but those were the words of somebody directly affected.