I am germacautious. Yep, I made up that word. I think anyone that were to live with my wife and me for a while, and had to live by our rules would probably think we are a bit off our rockers. But I think this is what has helped me stay “healthy” for all this time. I won’t go so far as to say that I am a mysophobe though.
I look at so many people and how careless they are with their health. One might say that they are building up their immunity, but on the contrary, so many people are walking around ill, especially at this time of the year with the flu being almost at epidemic proportions this year.
I try to avoid as much as possible to shake someone’s hands, and if I do, I make sure to wash or Purell my hands as soon as possible. Sounds a little neurotic? Well, I use the men’s room and most of the people coming out are not washing their hands. Very seldom do I actually see men washing their hands after they have used the bathroom.
When I go to the men’s room, I get strange looks from other people in there. When I walk in, if the paper dispenser is one of those you have to push a handle to extract the paper, I dispense the paper first, go to the sink, wash my hands then with the water still running, tear off the paper and dry my hands. I then use that same paper to turn off the water. I then take the same paper to dispense clean paper if the first piece is too wet and use that to close the toilet stall if the bathroom does not have private urinals (urinals that do not have dividers between them).
Without being too graphic here, a man stands to urinate (most of the time), and we need to hold our penises in order to direct the flow of urine so it just does not flow down our leg. Think about that. Opening the bathroom door and doing that without washing your hands. Every body who touched that door before you is on your hands. And how clean were their hands. They just wiped themself before opening that door. So that’s why I use paper to lock the stall. I have mastered how to twist the paper around most of the locks so that I don’t have to touch the lock on exit. I also use my foot to raise the toilet seat and to flush the toilet.
I then discard the paper I used to open the door and return to the sink and repeat the paper process to wash my hands, saving the last piece of paper to open the door to leave the bathroom. Most men rooms have a trash can placed at the door, so I toss the paper as I open the door. It’s an art that I have developed over the years where my hands never touch a thing after they have been washed.
I may be sounding a bit neurotic, and maybe I am, but just think for a minute just how many people have not washed their hands after using the bathroom. How many have dug their noses, scratched their crotches and butts. Sneezed and coughed into their hands. Don’t get me started. Just sit and think of the hundreds of people that have touched everything in that bathroom. How many times have you seen a bathroom attendant wipe a door handle? Just sit and imagine the amount of filthy hands that touched that door before you did. And as a man, you touch yourself to pee. Disgusting, right?
I know that I can still be careless when I go to stores and touch stuff and then scratch my face or nose absent mindedly, and I am trying to get better with that. But if you are on prednisone, your immunity is suppressed, and you have to be careful. Some might say that I am being too careful, but is there anything such as being too careful with your health? Prevention is always better than the cure.