Vomit, run to the loo, tummy cramps.
Loo again, more cramps, heave-ho de luxe.
Recognise it? Your old friend is back.
Enough to make you puke
Norovirus, food poisoning, gastro – whatever the medics are calling it this week.
You have our sympathies, it’s never very nice.
We’re not that sorry though – chances are highly likely you brought it on yourself.
What! How dare we be so heartless?
No, we don’t buy that you ate something and it disagreed with you. More likely we suspicion it was the bug you swallowed with it when you chowed it down.
Transferred off your hand, onto your food, then straight down your gullet.
That’s right, YOU caused it – and you probably never even knew.
Your fingerprints all over it
Because, before that meal, when was the last time you washed your hands?
No, it’s not an accusation.
Blame it on the high-powered lifestyles we’re all expected to lead – stampeding us through our day with hardly time to breathe – even grabbing lunch on the run.
And there’s the cause, right there.
Sure, you had heartburn because you ate so fast. But the upchucks and the runs? Unmistakeably Norovirus the Nasty – highly contagious and transmitted by touch, usually from your hand.
Which is why we call it the Don’t-Wash-Hands Disease.
What’s the bet you had no chance to wash your hands right through morning and into lunch – or even afterwards, with urgent meetings racked up, one after the other?
So the germs hit your stomach and had time to kick out. Now you’re feeling like death and want to crawl under a rock.
Totally preventable of course – all you had to do was wash your hands. See what we mean by self-inflicted?
And yes, it did come from your hands.
Check the evidence
Because it’s another most uncomfortable fact that our hygiene habits are almost non-existent.
Yucky fact No 1, 95% of us don’t wash our hands properly after going to the loo.
Yucky fact No 2, 62% of men and 40% of women don’t even bother.
Which means after going for a dump, then galloping to work on the train – holding the same grab-handles as other people who had a dump – then the grime on the escalator handrails, or the taxi door handle – straight into handling the day’s mail from the postie who also had a dump – then a few hours at the keyboard with burger grease and mayonnaise traces and finally scoffing the coronation chicken … you get where this is going.
And though a lot of us do, you can hardly blame it on the shop that made your sarnie.
If you don’t wash your hands more often than you do, you are the cause of your own anguish.
And with the way germs are becoming more resistant to antibiotics and other medicines, it’s becoming a case of learn new habits or die.
Never knew washing your hands could be a life and death issue?
Norovirus kills 80 a year. Salmonella about the same. In fact foodborne diseases take out around 500 people a year.
Sure, it’s possible to clobber germs in the places we live and work so they can’t get to us.
There’s a thing called a Hypersteriliser which destroys all viruses and bacteria by releasing an ultra-fine mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide – germs are ripped apart by oxidising – and minutes later the place is sterile.
Because it’s ionised, the stuff reaches everywhere, attracted by electrostatic charge.
It doesn’t touch what’s on your hands though. Or anything you might bring in on your clothes. And if you’ve already got a cold –or norovirus, which is almost as common – you’re going to have to live with it.
Keep you hands clean though, and you can protect yourself from catching anything new.
No more self-inflicted misery – and a lot happier life.