What goes around, comes around, right? Which is why you’re gonna catch it.
Because we’re not all hermits.
We need to be with each other and share things – at work, at home, or out enjoying ourselves.
Get a life and keep it
Otherwise, avoiding bugs is easy – we stay in splendid isolation and talk to nobody.
Not much of a life though, hey?
So we’re out there with everybody else – and sure as little apples, if there’s a bug going round, we’re ALL gonna catch it.
No, no, it’s not going to be because someone coughed over us, or sneezed in our direction. It’s not going to be because somebody honked their guts out on the office carpet either.
We’re careful, we keep away. We’re sympathetic, yes – but we don’t let that stuff touch us.
Besides, the place LOOKS clean and our hands aren’t dirty. If whoever it is stays away from work, we’re laughing.
If only we knew.
Because they could stay away for a week and we still might catch it.
Telling ourselves we can’t SEE germs doesn’t mean they’re not there. And germs, believe it or not, can survive for weeks clinging on to whatever – not the same as a nice, warm bod, but do-able.
So yeah, they’re there alright, all around us – like raindrops in a rain storm… No, hang on, that’s not all-embracing enough – like steam particles in a sauna.
Our own bio-aura
For starters, we each of us trail a cloud of germs – actually a cocktail of bacteria, skin and hair debris, viruses, fungi particles and dust all around us wherever we go.
There’s more in the air too, swirling and floating in every space on Earth. Too small to see so we don’t even think that they exist. Good germs, bad germs – so universally present it’s almost impossible to avoid them.
Only by washing them away are we momentarily safe from them – or eliminating them from the space around us, which amounts to the same thing.
Otherwise, we’re at risk, every moment of our existence.
We’ll touch something that somebody else has touched – a door handle, a light switch, a salt shaker or a phone. Next minute, because we do, we’ll touch our face and that’ll be it – bacteria will get in through our eyes or mouth – we’ve got the bug.
Yeah OK, most of the time it doesn’t happen.
Careless hygiene costs health
Our life and its surroundings are clean enough and hygienic enough for us to get away with it.
Which means we get forgetful. Careless because we’re always on the go. We don’t clean things, because they don’t look dirty. Or we get Harry casual when we do, choosing a wipe instead of a proper scrub with soap. And as for disinfecting… not even on the radar.
Want an example?
Look no further than your favourite coffee hangout.
More especially, watch the barista make your start-of-the-day cappuccino to go. See that steam pipe on the Gaggia machine? That’s to bubble the milk, give it that distinctive foam al perfetto.
Now watch the J-cloth that wipes the pipe, then into the plastic jug, waiting for the next order. Watch again. Same wipe action, back to the jug. Over and over – all morning if you watch long enough.
Not exactly hygienic, right? Shouldn’t that be a fresh cloth every time? Or a tear-off paper towel?
Yet who else is watching? Not even an inspector is likely to pick that up. Unconscious habit – and so perfectly normal that nobody sees a thing.
And that’s how it happens. Sleep-walking ourselves into sickness.
A little bit of soap
Like, be honest, when was the last time you washed your hands? Before you left home? When you reached work? After you hit the loo? Before your ritual ‘cino and Danish?
Don’t worry if you feel a twinge of conscience at the last two. Most people forget either of them are so vital – a wonder we don’t fall down dead with so many germs around.
Makes you think twice about the office though, doesn’t it?
Perhaps not as safe as you think.
Especially when Harry from Sales upchucks after the staff party.
All those germs floating around. Billions and billions of them. Often only 2 microns across – small enough to fall THROUGH an unglazed terra cotta plate.
Ew! Because it only takes around ten particles of norovirus – our favourite winter vomiting bug – to infect someone. And one droplet of vomit can contain 100,000,000,000 particles.
OK, so Harry stays away – and so do you. Except it’s near the photocopier, an area you can’t avoid.
Germ defence force-field
Nae problem, your work has got you covered with a Hypersteriliser.
You go home last thing – and the chars move in, right? And last thing when they quit is press the button on the machine.
That’s ionised hydrogen peroxide misting up the place. Penetrating everywhere through the air space and oxidising germs on the fly. Over, under, behind, through – into all the cracks and corners. Over every surface too.
Forty minutes later, the place is sterilised. No viruses, no bacteria, nothing.
Next day, Harry is safe, home in bed.
And you’re safe with your ‘cino and Danish – after a turn by the wash basin. No point taking needless chances.
Except what? No Hypersteriliser, it was only on appro?
Better book your own sickie off now, it’s only a matter of time. And get the boss to order one fast.
Because you’re going to catch it.