Do you know why hand soap is a common staple in a bathroom? Well, I am certain you do but I assure you some people might find this inquiry befuddling. The hand soap is not a prop, or a mystical illusion. It serves a utility function and is meant to be slathered and lathered on your hands prior to departing the lav.
Why am I explaining this obvious social paradigm? Especially with such a mordant bite? Because I have had the unpleasant misfortune to witness ickyness multiple times this week.
While I am in the public restroom, why do I see people come out of the stall and whisk right by the fully equipped sink and soap area like it was merely a mirage.
But admittedly, I am not as concerned about the potentially nescient masses visiting the public restroom to the same degree as someone I see in our office complex.
This I have seen so many times, and each time, I find it ill. These are highly educated people. That I see daily. AND know by name. Do you see me seeing you NOT washing your hands? Tiny reminder: you are not sheathed in a hooded cloak. I am locking it down in the memory bank, trust me.
Besides the blatantly obvious benefit of washing your hands to limit exposure to cold and flu, wouldn't it be wise to wash your hands after you were dealing with your biology? I mean, come on. Here's something lovely I read recently. Take a deep breath and try not to dry heave. (SERIOUSLY...you were given fair warning. Put your fork down for this next bit.)
While you are busy going potty in the restroom, all kinds of microbits go splashing around. A gram of feces can contain 10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts, and 100 worm eggs. Now, you don't need Dr. Korev to tell you bacteria can be beneficial: the human body needs bacteria to function, and only 10 percent of cells in our body are actually human. Which means the remainder, are not. Small fecal particles can then contaminate water, food, cutlery, and shoes AND be knowingly or unknowingly consumed.
So, how do you avoid such hazard to yourself as well as exculpate yourself from being the office germs-a-la-poopoo spreader? Simple! Just wash your mitts.
The CDC actually posts on its website instructions for washing your hands in the event you skipped all of first grade.
At home, handwashing can prevent infection and illness from spreading from family member to family member and, sometimes, throughout a community. In the home, the basic rule is to wash hands before preparing food and after handling uncooked meat and poultry, before eating, after changing diapers, after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one's nose into a tissue, and after using the bathroom.
Do you need the CDC to explain appropriate occasions when you should lather, rinse, repeat? Even if you were a nomadic cave-dweller, I am quite certain you would place "after trips to the can" right at the top of your list.
So, to my co-worker who was in the bathroom stall for many minutes, and walked out of the stall failing to even consider a cursory splash of water, I think you need a refresher.
The same co-worker I then walked behind to our break room where you touched the coffee maker, water cooler, microwave, and fridge door all in less than 2 minutes, all I ask is that you do me a favor and read one of the FOUR signs posted in the bathroom about the importance of hygiene. And don't worry, I won't catch your 10 million viruses because I use a paper towel on the handles and sprayed Lysol in the kitchen after you left. Thanks for making me lose my appetite. I wanted to lose a few pounds before my birthday this weekend anyway.