Carol Midgley picked up on this the the Times last week when she wrote about people who don’t wash their hands after using the lavatory.
We’ve all seen it, people cheerfully leaving a cubicle or a stall without so much as a wave at the hot water taps. Apparently only 10% of us take the trouble to wash our hands. Those who do, have probably also developed strategies for getting out of a public toilet without touching the door handle. My favourite is waiting for someone else to open the door and then use a foot and my elbow to keep it open so I can get out.
The more you think about it the worse it gets. At work for example when you are meeting and greeting and inevitably shaking hands or sharing office equipment. Maybe Nathan Wolfe’s suggestion that we adopt the japanese habit of bowing has something going for it when you realise that most cold germs are transmitted by touch.
Midgley then mentions the even worse statistic that 1 in 6 of us have mobile phones contaminated by faecal matter.
So next time you want to borrow someone’s phone think twice before you ask and at the risk of offending them have a handy disinfectant wipe to hand (and surely it will only be a matter of time before there’s an app for that).
And if you think that’s bad the same edition of the paper ran a story about California. In San Francisco it is legal for you to go into restaurants completely naked. The local council is voting to ban the practice and also make it mandatory for nudists to put a cushion under their bum when using public seating. One council member said “I believe sitting nude in a public place is not sanitary. Would you want to sit on a seat where someone had been sitting naked?”
There’s a local group called the “Naked Guys” who take to the streets wearing only a hat and shoes. Restaurateurs have complained that they are driving away business and while most restaurants have signs saying shoes and shirt required they don’t mention trousers. If the vote goes through the offenders could be fined a $1,000 and up to a year in prison.
Aren’t you glad I told you that?