Friday, February 23, 2007

Will You Please Go Wash Your Hands?

I don't have a compulsion. I could possibly be labeled a neat/clean freak. And yes, I wash my hands several times each day.

Perhaps I wash my hands so often because I worked in food service for five years. I washed my hands twenty or thirty times in an eight-hour shift, and nobody thought I was weird. Perhaps I am weary of running around with germs on my hands because some of them can make us sick. Perhaps I wash my hands because that's what Mother taught me to do. If I wash my hands, then walk around the neighborhood or go for a bike ride, it doesn't matter that I never touched anything else, I still wash my hands when I go inside again. The same is true especially after touching our cats or any other animals.

The two times I can't stand not washing my hands are after using the restroom or before eating. I always wash my hands with soap and water. I'd prefer warm water, but that doesn't always happen. When I'm in a public restroom and hear someone flush the toilet and walk out, a little part of me dies. Eww, ewww, eeewwwwww. Sure, you can go do your thing and not touch any part of you and never touch the toilet or the door or the sink and probably not get a single thing on you. It's a matter of courtesy to others.

OSU removed all paper towel and soap dispensers from their dorms (or something close to that) and replaced them with antibacterial solution that one doesn't need water to use. THE HORROR! Great, now instead of killing and removing the germs from their hands, dorm residents are sealing the germs to their own skin repeatedly. And people wonder why dorms here are hotbeds of infection and disease. Sheesh! (I'm not a big fan of the antibacterial lotions for several reasons, both scientific and personal.)

I'm not obsessive-compulsive when it comes to cleaning. I'm organized and put-away, but not compulsive. My parents will attest to my non-compulsion of cleaning.

But seriously, will you please go wash your hands?


Anonymous said...

how about this for gross though... a study was done to test if washing your hands really does help. they had someone wash their hands for 10 minutes under hot running water with soap, and they *still* had germs on their hands. there really is no way to get rid of all germs. but while that may be the case, you are right that actually *washing* your hands will get rid of more germs than a little bit of antibacterial solution.

in addition, antibacterial things are actually making it harder to cure bacterial infections (or otherwise) because the germs build up immunity, and as a result the antibacterial stuff no longer works. isn't that a crazy thought...

Jaggy said...

I thought about that when I was posting this... it's true that not all bacteria are bad. The ones I'm worried about in the case of handwashing are dead within a minute of sustained soap and hot water use. So while it is true that bacteria survive in nearly every climate, the dangerous ones tend to be a bit more picky.

Thanks, sis, for the comment and microbiology lesson. :)

flithy filthy said...

it's a good thing you are so concerned about cleanliness
according to a recent study women are filthy