A few ground rules.
Let’s not include upsets caused by your mind. No romantic distresses, job apprehensions, exam nerves or stress-related angst.
We’re talking genuine sicknesses here – like colds, flu or worse. Or tummy bugs that might start with diarrhoea and get nasty from there.
Yeah, you got gut ache
All the way from mild discomfort to hospital stuff – including monsters like typhoid. Pretty well anything you can eat or touch.
Are you ready?
Wash your hands.
That’s it. Just, wash your hands.
Ah, but you’ve got to do it properly. Because though all of us claim we wash our hands, 95% of us don’t do it properly, or even at all.
Don’t believe it?
Researchers at Michigan State University hid in bathrooms and recorded physical evidence. Seems most of us waggle our hands under the tap and that’s it.
Ah, but that’s Yanks, you say. We know better here.
Oh yeah? According to a recent survey right here in UK, 62% of men and 40% of women admitted that they didn’t even bother.
Uh huh. So that’s a whole bunch of us waltzing round with poo and wee on our hands.
You ready for the next yucky? We’re not just waltzing around, but we’re touching our faces 2,000 – 3,000 times a day. Transferring invisible gunk to our eyes, mouth and nose – exactly the same passages germs use to get in – over and over, like we WANT to catch a bug.
Go away, bugs!
Which makes it kind of unsurprising when we do. We’re so unhygienic we DESERVE to come down with something – at least norovirus or one of those other nasties that gives us the runs.
Worse than that, we use those same yucky hands to eat. Sure, they don’t look yucky, but those billions of viruses and bacteria living on there are so small, how the hell would we know?
OK, so you’re ambitious and pushing your career, so busy you often eat at your desk – burger and chips while you check your business pitches – multi-tasking so your bosses love you.
You got it – those same greasy fingers all over your keyboard and phone.
And when was the last time you wiped either of them down – last week, last month, last year? So that’s burger and chips on top of the chicken fajitas from yesterday, and the egg salad mayonnaise on wholewheat from the day before.
No wonder experts reckon you’ve got upwards of 10 million disease-causing bacteria living there – that place is a zoo!
Run to the Doc
So who’s fault is it if one of these bugs riding round on your hands decides to hit you with an infection? You and the other 65 million people living in bonny UK – all gumming up the works to see your GP, or running to A&E with your tummy bug because you can’t get an appointment?
And we have the nerve to say that our NHS services can’t cope!
With not even a guilty conscience that all we have to do is use a little soap and water after the loo and before eating to make all those ailments go away. Aren’t we heartily ashamed of ourselves?
We should be. So to pull our thinking straight about something we all know, here’s a polite hand-washing reminder from America’s health heavyweights, the Centers for Disease Control – the same people who safeguard the world against Ebola, malaria, TB, diabetes and all the other more serious challenges or doctors are fighting with every day.
Just wash your hands and everything goes away. (Tweet this)
You don’t have to buy Imodium because your tummy’s fine. Or get the Doc to check your chest because your lungs are clear. Or have your appendix removed because it’s fine.
Super-boring, nothing to talk about, and you should live to be a hundred.
Not allergic to soap are you? So use a sanitising gel. Carry one with you always, because you can’t always get to a bathroom.
Mind how you go though, clean hands can’t protect you from accidents.