Avoid Disaster – Wash Your Hands
Kermit the Frog sang, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” Hey, Kermit, it’s not easy keeping clean either.
For example, consider backpacking. I hiked a mountainous terrain in New Mexico with my son and a group. This was a weeklong excursion, so we had to cook for ourselves. None of us wanted to get sick, so we were cautious about cleaning our hands, touching food, cleaning the pots and utensils, and making certain there was no soap residue left on the cooking equipment. It was essential for us to keep our hands clean to keep from spreading germs.
We had to plan ahead. We had to think of what we could bring since everything that came with us would be leaving with us. That meant thinking about biodegradable products so we wouldn’t hurt the environment. No one wants to be sick on a backcountry trip.
So, why am I concerned about keeping my hands clean?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth and make us sick.” I have never been able to count how many times a day I might rub my eyes, scratch my nose or touch my mouth with my hands. So, it makes sense to me to say healthy is to keep my hands clean. Every day I touch door handles, handrails, condiment bottles, pepper shakers, and faucets. There are several things that I touch that others touch too.
In the day-to-day world, I remember to wash my hands. I keep hand sanitizer in my vehicle for those times when I know I need to wash my hands and when soap and water might not be close by. Hand sanitizer is not a complete substitution for soap and water. Again referencing the CDC, the hand sanitizer must be alcohol based with at least a 60% alcohol solution. Read the label for the correct amount to put in your hand, then rub your hands together until your hands are dry. Otherwise, the use of the sanitizer will not be effective. And, if your hands are really dirty – where you can see the dirt – you’re better off using soap and water. If you’ve handled other chemicals, you should probably use soap and water – read the label!
To be clean is to be healthy. For a few years, I noticed that the flu virus infection numbers dropped tremendously when we avoided social gatherings, masked in public, and washed our hands a lot.
I like to be active socially, so I’m not suggesting at all that we go back to lockdown mode. By keeping the clean habits – especially the hand washing habits – that we formed during lockdown, we may find that we are all healthier for it.
“NOTICE: Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning to Work.” And so should everyone else.
Keep clean. Avoid disaster. Wash your hands.