Will Anyone Notice My Pandemic BO When Things Open Up Again? | Ask the Rev. | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Will Anyone Notice My Pandemic BO When Things Open Up Again?


Published March 31, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

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Dear Reverend,

Since the pandemic started, I've been working from home, not going anywhere and not trying to impress anyone. My shower routine went from two to three times a week to once a week or less. Now, when I take a shower, I can't get the BO smell out of my armpits, no matter how much I scrub. But I'm actually starting to like it. It's kinda rustic, like someone's got a campfire going and there's a skunk nearby or someone's smoking some good weed. I'm wondering whether anybody else will notice when things open up again.

Pitty Party (male, 35)

Dear Pitty Party,

When I was in high school about a hundred years ago, I had a part-time job with a particularly pungent coworker. The manager had the unfortunate task of telling the person they had to clean up their act — literally. I can only imagine how embarrassing that must have been for both of them. I'm sure you wouldn't want something like that to happen to you.

Similar to how we don't always find our own farts all that stinky, we don't usually mind our own body odor. There's a bunch of brain business involved, but basically we're wired to be accustomed to our smells so we can take care of our bodies without getting grossed out. We find other people's smells unpleasant because they can be a danger to us by spreading germs and disease.

I find it odd how accustomed we've become to plucking, preening and deodorizing everything about the human body, but such is life. Before you head back to working and socializing with other people, you should kick your hygiene game back up to the pre-pandemic level. There's nothing wrong with smelling a little "natural," but you ought to save your extra-stanky time for when you're on your own.

Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

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