How many of you caught COVID-19 and/or have gotten sick from anything during the shutdown? Hopefully none of you, or not many. Isn’t it strange how so many of us bypassed Flu season this year?
It’s probably because we were all washing our hands more. It’s that simple, and that important. Now that things are opening up it’s even more important than ever to wash your hands.
Wash Your F’ing Hands, Dude!
Why am I calling you out? From my experience working in bars, restaurants, clubs, venues, and event spaces; I can confidently say most guys don’t wash their hands after taking a piss. If they go number 2 it seems more likely they wash up. But over the years, I’ve seen guys walk right past the sinks. Personally I’ve always thought it was disgusting. Not only disgusting, I found it selfish. Now I think it’s fair game at this point to call those people out to their face and tell them to get back to the sink and wash up. I think public shaming is only acceptable for certain things, and not washing your hands post COVID-19 is one of them.
What about women? In general they’re more hygienic creatures, but if you have ever skipped the sink after a pee ladies, please don’t anymore.
I shit you not (pun intended), one of my first jobs was at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. I witnessed the Michelin Star French chef walk out of the bathroom stall right past the sinks back into the kitchen. Sure did change my appetite for French cuisine after that.
I learned about hand washing many years before the pandemic the hard way. Working as a security director and event director I had to shake a lot of peoples hands. Back when I was a security guard, and a door guy, I had to shake even more hands. I’m talking 400-to-500 hands per night. Think about how many germs I would touch. But everyone wants to be cool to the door guy on the way in and shake his hand. Atleast the nice people do.
The first 6 months working at the bar I would get sick at least once a month. Before that job it was once a year. Thankfully, I noticed the bartenders washing their hands all the time. Literally every time someone shook their hand, they went to the bar sink and washed up quickly. My position at the door didn’t have the option for me to walk a few feet to the sink and wash my hands, so I took a threefold tactic.
- I started only putting out my knuckles instead of handshakes whenever possible. Out of respect I would still do handshakes and handshake half hugs when I felt like it.
- I would sneak away to wash my hands with full soap and scrub every 30-45 minutes.
- I kept a bar rag with soap and water in my back pocket, and a cup of water nearby that I would use after shaking someone’s hand. This I did discreetly and hidden not to offend anyone.
It worked. I went from getting sick maybe twice a month to nearly not at all. This was 10 years ago. I learned it the hard way, but I learned it early. Then I became a dad, and let’s just say no matter how many times you get sick from your kids it’s still worth it.
I was talking to a few buddies just yesterday who also happen to be dads that haven’t gotten sick since shutdown. We all agreed it was due to the fact that everyone was washing their hands more, and being more aware of hygiene. The crazy part: we all admitted before COVID-19 a lot of us dads would catch whatever our kids came down with. We agreed it wasn’t as regular for us to wash our little munchkins grubby paws throughout the day. Since this whole global pandemic we are making an effort to be better and considerate. And guess what the best part it is? It works!!
Since what I’ve said so far is just my opinion and from my personal experience, here is information about the importance of hand-washing from the CDC:
- It is estimated that washing hands with soap and water could reduce diarrheal disease-associated deaths by up to 50% 1.
- Researchers in London estimate that if everyone routinely washed their hands, a million deaths a year could be prevented 2.
- A large percentage of foodborne disease outbreaks are spread by contaminated hands. Appropriate hand washing practices can reduce the risk of foodborne illness and other infections 3.
- Handwashing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16% 4.
- The use of an alcohol gel hand sanitizer in the classroom provided an overall reduction in absenteeism due to infection by 19.8% among 16 elementary schools and 6,000 students 5.
Face and Body Hygiene
- More than 50% of healthy persons have Staphylococcus aureus living in or on their nasal passages, throats, hair, or skin 6.
- Within the first 15 minutes of bathing, the average person sheds 6 x 106 colony forming units (CFU) of Staphylococcus aureus 7.
- The average individual swimmer contributes at least 0.14 grams of fecal material to the water, usually within the first 15 minutes of entering 8. Showering with soap before swimming helps stop the spread of germs by removing fecal material from the body.
- Trachoma, the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide, is related to the lack of facial hygiene 9.
- Inadequate contact lens hygiene, such as failure to properly disinfect lenses, is associated with an increased risk of acquiring the eye infection Acanthamoeba keratitis 10.
- The spread of pinworms can be reduced by proper hygiene, including clipping nails and showering children immediately after they wake in the morning 11.
- Hundreds of thousands of persons in the U.K. (between 1.2% and 1.3% of the total population) acquire outer ear infections each year, due to contaminated water remaining in the ear after swimming or bathing 12.
So there you have it. It’s up to you. Even if you are one of those people that has a general disregard for others do it selfishly. Help yourself from getting sick. We all know that it works, so please wash your f’ing hands.
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