Oh my goodness did she just pick her nose? AM I BECOMING A GERM-A-PHOBE?
Earlier this week whilst I was travelling home after work in a taxi, a lady sitting in front of me sneezed using her left hand to cover her mouth and nose. She then took her index finger of the same hand and started digging in her left ear and used her left hand again to cover her mouth and nose because she thought she was about to sneeze again. She later took out a magazine to read and then minutes later opened the taxi door to get out. – so now I had a problem as the next stop was mine, and I had to then touch the very same door to open the taxi to get out!
Okay so I work for a hygiene company, so yes maybe I am more aware of germs than the average person. And yes I am writing this blog because blogging for the company is part of my job – so you could say I have been GERM BRAIN WASHED and look for germs on every public surface! BUT that lady DID spread her germs and I was now exposed to them! Bottom line being, it is very easy for germs to transfer from one place to another.
So while I’m being a germ-a-phobe let’s think a little more about this…Thousands of people every day go shopping and hand over their cards and then pop in their codes by using the speed points at the tills, we touch the biometric scanners in the banks to get money, but who touched those buttons before I did? And what had they been picking at before they did?
Okay so I am not saying that every person you may sit next to on the taxi is unhygienic and let’s face it, we have all sneezed/ coughed and hopefully covered our mouths with our hands while doing so, as that is the acceptable public thing to do!
We are not all super organised to think about carrying sanitising wipes and gels with us wherever we go and certainly don’t wipe or wash our hands after every sneeze or cough. But the bottom line is we are exposing ourselves to more and more bugs in public places. It makes one wonder, do the stores wipe the speed point machines?
When last did your bank wipe the biometric fingerprint machine? (I can tell you that Capitec buys our Steriwipes that are supposed to be used to clean and sanitise their biometric machines – so look out for them!) But what are the other banks doing? And shouldn’t the retailers be cleaning their speed points? In their defense, at least they do provide the Saniwipes trolley wipes for which self-confessed germ-a phobes like me are truly grateful for!
Another huge bug of mine are people that take phones into the toilets. They only clean their hands and not their phones.(well let’s hope at least they do clean their hands)! Bacteria thrive on warm surfaces; phones and tablets are always warm from all the use. According to Dr Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology, ‘Germs like E.coli as well as influenza and MRSA (those are the dangerous superbugs we are always hearing about) are often found on cell phones.’ So long as people keep their phone and tablet germs to themselves – I am happy!
Thank goodness I don’t work in a call centre where phones and ear and mouth pieces are shared from shift to shift! Yes, perhaps I am a Germ-a-Phobe! – BUT I also don’t believe in sanitising every surface in my home;, we actually do need a level of bacteria and germs in order to grow our own immune systems which makes us stronger! We can control the cleanliness of our own homes BUT we can’t control the germs in public spaces, we are therefore exposing ourselves to millions of unknown bugs every time we touch a public surface. Mostly our bodies should have the immune systems and defenses in place to cope with this bug exposure, but every now and again a really nasty SUPERBUG may just be waiting to pounce!
Do you use the trolley wipes at your local retailer? They provide them to protect us. Do you think banks and other institutions should provide a similar product?
I’d love to hear your views. - Written by Mama Gogga, a self-confessed Germ-a-Phobe
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