Anne Hathaway put tape around her light switches early in the pandemic: makes sense?

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Anne Hathaway is promoting her role in the HBO film The Witches, with Octavia Spencer. It’s based on a book by Roald Dahl, and as I said in my coverage of one of Octavia’s interviews, I watched some of it and found it cute. It’s a kids’ film and I don’t think I’m the target market. Anne plays the head of the witches who eat little children, and she’s suitably creepy. Anne has been making headlines for talking about how she hid the early part of her second pregnancy while filming. I wanted to talk about the self deprecating stories she told on Kimmel recently. I particularly related to one she told about wearing shoes around the house, which I think she felt awkward sharing as it fell flat. I got it though! She also said that she had this brilliant idea to put fancy Japanese tape around her light switches early in the pandemic so she could disinfect the most frequently touched surfaces. Anne has been married to Adam Shulman for eight years and they have two children together, Jack, 11 months, and Jonathan, four. She gushed about her husband a little.

On if she wants more kids
The world is really scary. Some minutes I’m like yes absolute and some minutes the world scares me too much. I’ve got two healthy ones and that feels really great. I don’t know yet.

Her mitigation measures early in the pandemic
You know those little magical thoughts that keep your anxiety at bay? ‘As long as I do this thing everything’s gonna be fine. So I decided that it would keep my family safe if I put tape around all of our light switches and our door knobs. I’m so smart, these are the most oft-touched surfaces. We’ll just remember to wash our hands and put Lysol on them. I explained the reason to [my husband] and it didn’t mean anything. It was so embarrassing because they did nothing and then they started to peel. We just had sad tape coming off of everything for months and he continued to make fun of me.

She wore shoes around the house
I convinced myself that if I just wore a pair of sensible heels everything would be fine. I had just got a really sensible pair of heels from Everlane. I was just convinced that it I wore [them] somehow it would give me special organizational powers. It lasted five hours. My husband teased me about it yesterday.

“Does your husband do anything weird that you need to report?”
He’s so perfect. He’s a really easygoing guy. I’m the one that spins out a little bit. I’m very lucky I married him.

[From Jimmy Kimmel Live on YouTube]

The thing about the shoes makes total sense to me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn shoes around the house and felt like I could get more sh-t done. It makes you walk with purpose and there’s something magical about a good pair of shoes, although we definitely should be taking our shoes off at the door. As for the tape around the light switches, that makes sense in a weird way too. Remember how we were wiping down groceries and disinfecting the sh-t out of everything early in the pandemic? We couldn’t even use reusable bags in some places. At that point we didn’t know how long the virus lived on surfaces, but now we have a better idea and know prevention is more about social distancing and mask-wearing. We should still be washing our hands and being careful, now more than ever, but that has gone by the wayside, as have a lot of other basic measures unfortunately.

Getting back to Anne, I related to her a lot in this interview. I definitely tried to mitigate the virus stress by doing weird sh-t early on especially. It’s not that bizarre if you consider the very real risk we’re all taking by going out in public. When you think you or your family might die, you do whatever you can. Also it sounds like Anne’s husband is sweet to her and like they’re a good match. She gets freaked out and he’s laid back. Some couples work best that way.

Oh and her Halloween costume plans were Cars-themed for her husband and their oldest kid and she was dressing as a tree to hold their littlest one, who was going to be a monkey. She hasn’t shared any photos and doesn’t post any of her children.

Here’s that interview!

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35 Responses to “Anne Hathaway put tape around her light switches early in the pandemic: makes sense?”

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  1. Honora says:

    Everyone says North Americans wear shoes at home and I haven’t met people who do. On the other hand, the French family I lived with did wear shoes (And their marble floors are cold and durable so it makes sense) and the mom even wore heels, 7 days a week and she was very productive.

    • FancyPants says:

      I change into “house shoes” (shoes never worn outside) at the door as soon as I walk in, both for cleanliness and I can’t stand to be barefoot. I have several different pairs of house shoes for whatever I’m doing- slippers, flipflops, trainers for workouts, regular shoes for chores, etc.

      • Lucy2 says:

        I have house shoes too. Barefoot on hard floors is not good for me, it aggravates my feet and my back.

      • margedebarge says:

        I have a delightful pair of knockoff Uggs ($10 at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet two years ago) that I wear for exactly this purpose. SO calls them my “houseboots.” They’re warm and cozy around the house and sturdy enough that I can pop out to the car or mailbox if I really need something.

      • JanetDR says:

        House shoes for me too! I’ve got a lot of arthritis in my feet and just cozy warm socks don’t cut it anymore (although Bombas do for longer than most because of the arch support). I wear Stegmanns around the house in cold weather and vionic slippers when it’s warm. I don’t love that I have to, but the difference for pain is well worth it!
        Also, I will never forget my first pair of pumps with a little heel -the click sound I would make when I walked made me feel all grown up and efficient! I’m guessing that is what Anne was vibing on too.😀

    • deezee says:

      Canadians do not wear shoes in their homes. Occasionally “house shoes or slippers” are worn by some people, but it isn’t common here as we have four seasons and no one wants Spring or Fall mush, or Winter slush on their floors.

  2. Esmom says:

    She is stunning in that red gown. And her scars in the other photo are very lifelike.

    I liked this, she conveyed the bewilderment and irrational fears that came with the pandemic very well. My heart goes out to her having little kids in this world. My kids are in college and yet I am terrified for their future on so many front, every day.

  3. Mumbles says:

    I don’t fault her for the tape early on because none of us knew anything. I would wipe down food packages in the early days, wipe off doorknobs etc. But now the scientific consensus seems to be that it does not transmit off surfaces, it’s almost always via respiratory transmission. I guess you could touch a contaminated surface and then touch your mouth or nose?

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Yes, that’s the idea – you touch the virus and then put it into your system through an opening – most likely nose and mouth.

      There may be a role for surface transmission, but it is likely to be a small percentage of cases.

  4. Sandra says:

    Well I still wipe down groceries and delivered packages.. and doorknobs.. I’m not as hyper about it but it’s become habit now. I think it will be a while before I stop..

    • Esmom says:

      I always spray hand sanitizer on my hands when I get back into the car after going somewhere now, I can’t imagine ever not doing that now. I think some of the practices we’ve picked up during the pandemic are good to keep up in general.

      • Surreuzly? says:

        I was no touch surfaces or people person before the pandemic. Hugs are uncomfortable & could’nt sit in a theatre etc I also have hepa filter inside air thingys that one can’t buy now. I miss my highly social job, but otherwise I like the cleanliness awareness of covid.

    • Onerous says:

      Same! Also – your groceries are FILTHY. I couldn’t believe how just grimy everything was when we started wiping them down. I’m still sanitizing them and wiping them down because, COVID or not, they are disgusting.

    • Case says:

      I still wipe down my groceries too! If I get a coffee, I go home, wipe it off, and then drink it. I realize it’s not the most common way of transmission, but that doesn’t rule it out completely.

    • Anna says:

      Same. I spray everything including my clothes with rubbing alcohol.

    • Size Does Matter says:

      I had to stop wiping groceries because I can’t find Clorox or Lysol wipes any more.

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        This is a late reply, and don’t know if you’ll see it, but if you put 1/4 c. of liquid bleach in a gal. of water, you can use that (with a rag, and use gloves!) to wipe down groceries. That’s what I did, as I couldn’t find wipes.

    • Callie says:

      I don’t think I will ever stop wiping down groceries; it is so strange to me now that we never did this before! All those germy hands on them, no thank you.

  5. FancyPants says:

    Why would taping the light switches be better than wiping them? Tape is just gonna leave a sticky residue for more crud to stick to it.

    • Lucy2 says:

      That’s what I thought when i read the headline, but I think it’s changing the texture of it so that you realize you’ve touched some thing others have touched, as a reminder to wash your hands.

      I’m not as fanatical as I was in the beginning, but I do still wipe down groceries, especially if I use a delivery service.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Maybe she taped around them to make them more visible as reminders to wipe?

  6. Ana says:

    Wait guys, we’re NOT disinfecting groceries anymore??

    • Anna says:

      @Ana Don’t stop. Latest research I read said that virus actually stays much longer on surfaces than originally thought (plastic especially). Please keep disinfecting groceries and all of your surfaces!

      • Arpeggi says:

        In a lab setting the virus can stay on surfaces for a long time w/o degradation, IRL not really. Also the #of infectious particles needed to get someone sick is likely somewhere between 100,000 to 1,000,000 which makes surface transmission very unlikely.

        Overusing disinfectants has its downsides too: increase of allergies, dried skin that’s more likely to crack making it more prone to let microbes in (our skin is our greatest protector) and disinfectant intoxication (there’s been an increase of methanol poisoning since March esp amongst children). It’s why soap and water remains the best option and that going overboard with cleaning might not be as useful as one might expect.

    • Case says:

      Many people are! I definitely still am. Can’t be too careful. I’m home a lot, I social distance from friends, and the only people I see indoors are my parents. I am not taking any chances!

    • Lila says:

      I am. It’s a bit of vigilance that makes me feel better about keeping my family safe, and only inconveniences me a few minutes. I’ll happily trade that.

  7. Marigold says:

    I wear socks in the house. I have lots of thick athletic socks.

  8. Boo says:

    I’ve banned shoes inside our house. You know people spit on the ground outside, right? And then you might walk in it, and then wear your shoes in the house, and then go barefoot later and then get in your bed. So basically the way I see it is if you wear your outside shoes in the house you’re basically sleeping with the spit of some nasty stranger.

    Then I got foot pain from cleaning and cooking in only socks. So I tried a pair of shoes to wear only inside, but then I accidentally wore them outside the house and figured it would keep happening, so now I just use supportive slippers.

    Moral of the story is, take your shoes off if you don’t want to be gross.

  9. heygingersnaps says:

    Growing up with a mother who was very strict with hygiene, had to clean the house at least twice a day and just before she came home. I developed some of her habits like using a paper towel on the taps and door knobs. Closing the toilet seat before flushing and when I lived on my own, I would sanitise everything (door knobs, mobile phone, laptop sans the screen with ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. No outdoor shoes in the house and have a shower and change to clean clothes before going to bed. Wash and change bedding weekly, that kind of thing.
    When I moved to the UK, I was so disappointed that they didn’t sell ethyl/isopropyl alcohol so I made do with Dettol. I finally got to stop sanitising my grocery and started to relax some of my rules but when the pandemic hit, I started sanitising our groceries again. It’s tiring but I feel like, better safe than sorry.

  10. Leesa says:

    I’m a dork, but I just wanted to point out that the witches don’t eat the children. To the witches, the children smell like poop, and the big plan is to turn all the kids into rats.
    I’ll see myself out

  11. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I can’t stand to be barefoot lol. But outside shoes and inside shoes are not interchangeable. Plus in addition to all my fuzzy socks, my house shoes mostly have big ass platforms lol. I’m very short, and I like to reach things. 😁 I look so incredibly fashionable with my wild-patterned fuzzies and five to six inch platform slides.