Wash Your Hands!

I’ve always been someone who washes their hands after using the restroom and I will admit that I use my sleeve or a paper towel when I open the door to exit the bathroom, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized how often I should be washing my hands. Bathroom visits simply aren’t enough!

As mentioned in my former blog, I’m a big Shape magazine reader. In this month’s issue (pictured above) there was an article that caught my attention. It was called Diary of a Germophobe. This article was written by Kate Pope and contained the tale of her obsession with germs. She mentions that she goes as far as to sanitize the pages of her daughter’s library books. Now this sounds extreme, but with the recent flu outbreaks it doesn’t seem quite as unreasonable. As part of the article, Kate conducts an experiment where she swabbed everything she touched on a daily basis with a cotton swab. She then gathered the swabs up and took them to the director of clinical microbiology and immunology at NYU  pre=”NYU “>Langone Medical Center Philip Tierno, Ph.D. for testing. Dr. Tierno then revealed to Kate that her swabs contained quite a bit of fecal contamination. Not only is this disgusting, but scary as well (think E. coli).

This only further confirmed Kate’s fear of germs and frankly gave me the heebie-geebies as well. After reading this article and being heavily influenced by my boyfriend to wash my hands more, I started making small modifications to my daily cleaning routine. For example, I now soak my kitchen sponge in scalding hot water at the end of the day to kill the creepy germs that infest it. I’m also encouraged by my journalism school to wipe down my computer in the computer labs before each use. They have Clorox wipes in every room and now its become a habit to scrub down the keyboard. I also noticed that I don’t touch my face as much anymore. I was always someone who was chewing on my fingernails or touching my mouth and now the thought of touching my mouth after I’ve touched ANYTHING in public makes me gag.

Maybe I’m being over-cautious, but after the recent H1N1 outbreak on my campus, I’m definitely thinking about the little things a lot more. So please wash your hands before eating and if you can’t get to a sink, use hand sanitizer. You’ll save yourself a trip to the doctor and will avoid a pesky cough.

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