Today is a special day. SMB, my wife, agreed to finally write something up for my blog. I mentioned about her unwillingness to contribute to this blog in my about page, I also mentioned about her obsession with cleanliness. So, I had given her this topic to write about. She thinks she has serious OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) as far as cleanliness is concerned, I think so too. 🙂 Enjoy the post!
Let’s first talk about their presence, the omnipresence of those microscopic beings, known as “germs”.
Why do I suddenly want to write about germs?
Well, for starters, I have been known to my close friends and family as someone who has OCD, constantly cleaning and wiping and washing and trying to keep everything squeaky clean and germ-free.
Who else can be better than me, to write about something like this?
The first thing I make sure I do when I return home after running errands is wash my hands. Might sound a bit obsessive and very routine, but I tell you folks, it’s worth it.
Although, I always did all those thousand things I do to keep myself germ-free, out of a habit, like never putting down my purse on the floor or not touching the shopping cart handle without wiping it down with some wet wipes, it wasn’t until I came across these articles in a few popular magazines, where they are actually telling people what are “the easiest places to pick up germs”.
And I always thought everyone knew about these things.
But, I guess not!
So, I decided to create a list of a few of the commonest and easy-to-miss places that harbors germs. I would like to add that I have no intention of scaring people, but only to raise awareness. Here’s a good resource that tells you how germs spread.
Where Germs are and How to Protect Yourself
WARNING :- After you look at this list, please don’t go all OCD, like me !
- Putting your purse or personal belongings on the floor of a restaurant or public restroom, and then the same purse goes on your kitchen counter or bed…Have you ever thought about how much germs you are carrying on your purse?
- Doorknobs, handrails, elevator switches, escalator rails or shopping cart handles, condiment bottles, restaurant menus, staff room things like microwave handles, refrigerator handles; printers, copiers; anything associated with public transportation gas pump nozzles and keypads(this is a big one)- You are not the only one touching it. There have been a lot of others who had touched it before you, and you don’t know where their hands have been…
- Keyboards, phones, light switches, remote controls and all those other things which all of us touch daily in our offices or homes. Same rule goes, if it’s a public property, it probably has germs. If it’s in your house, it probably needs a wipe down, once in a while as well.
- Money – Have you ever wondered how many hands that bill has changed before it went into your wallet? What about the ATM? Wash your hands after you have handled money, at the gas station, at the super market or at the ATM counter.
- Public seats and counter-tops, table-tops, car seats, office seats, restaurant seats, toilet seats, high chairs, tabletops, library counter-tops movie theaters. All have loads of germs on them although they look clean. Try to wipe them down with a disinfectant wipe or wash your hands afterwards after you have touched them.
- When you leaf through a book, have you wondered how many germs you might be picking up? People have this nasty habit of munching on snacks while reading a book, and they don’t get up to wash their hands after they are done eating, and then you are the next person who borrows that book. When you check out a book or a DVD from the library or a vending machine, remember it’s not clean because been touched by several others before you.
- Playgrounds and day care centers are a common place where kids pick up germs. Needless to say, school desks, restrooms, doors, water fountain handles etc, as well. First thing to do when the little devil is back, is to clean him/her up & change his/her clothes. Be sure to wash those clothes regularly and clean up school totes and anything else that he/she carries to school every day.
- Clinics, hospitals, urgent care and sorts are not as germ-free as they sound. Remember, this is where sick people come in to get treated and they bring their germs with them. Make it a habit to not touch magazines or anything else when you are in the waiting lounge. Even if you have to, remember to wash or wipe your hands before touching anything else.
- You are a health-freak. But have ever thought how much germs you might be picking up in the process of using a gym equipment that someone with their sweaty, germy hands had just touched before you? Don’t worry. Give it a wipe and gym away. The same goes with recreational areas and public pools.
- You love to travel and so does germs. And obviously, you two don’t go well together. So, anytime you are on a plane or in a hotel or on vacation, remember that you are in a public place, and anything you touch or use is being used by many others. You know what to do by now!
As you all have guessed by now, this is a maddening list. We all have to go out every day, run errands and it’s not possible for us to keep our hands in our pockets and avoid touching things. But don’t worry! We all need to adopt very simple yet logical approaches towards keeping us germ-free.
Keep a stash of disinfectant wipes with you always and, whenever possible wash your hands.
It is actually very easy to lead a germ-free life if we follow some basic cleanliness habits.
Hand-sanitizer gels are okay when you don’t have anything else available and as long as they are not the only things you use to clean your hands. Disinfectant wipes are a good way to clean up surfaces.
But if you have access to a restroom, try to avail the traditional method of washing your hands with soap and water. Here’s to more germ-free days in your lives. Peace out!
“It’s difficult, if not impossible, to avoid germs. The tiny organisms that can cause sicknesses like cold and flu lurk on just about every imaginable surface, from doorknobs to store shelves.“ – Every Day Health
About the Author – SMB is a housewife and interestingly married to me since last 8+ years. She is very strong woman (staying with me for that long requires strength, by the way) with many interest and hobbies, the pictures you see here are often clicked by her. This was her first post for OCAAT. She has her own personal blog but, let’s just keep it a secret. You will definitely find more information about SMB on my about page.
It was nice to hear from the Mrs. Thanks for the reminder about all the likely places where germs may lurk.
My Multiple Incomes says
Interesting post on germs. It’s really difficult to avoid coming in contact with germs, but we still need to do our best to do so especially if we have kids at home, since a lot of these germs can cause illnesses.Thanks for the tips!
[email protected] says
Pretty hard not to constantly be aware of these things, now! Great considerations.
Shawn James @ PipsToday says
Its really interesting to know that we are surrounded by something which we can’t see with our naked eyes and that too so many of them. Whatever may be the situation, our health’s safety comes first.
SMB is a good writer SB, you should encourage her to write some more. This was very educational and important topic. She did the justice.
Thanks to all who read & commented on this write-up. Thank you for encouraging me to write more often.
Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide says
Germs are everywhere, and most are harmless. I try to focus on where the ones that aren’t as harmless are most likely to be found. I’m not worried about books!
Rob @FinancialSprout says
There are 2 problems with being super clean all the time. 1) You could create resistant bacteria. Disinfectant wipes don’t kill every bacterium or virus, so what happens is that the ones left behind (the ones who have the resistance/ immunity to the cleaning agent) continue to reproduce. Instead of having a large colony of extremely weak bacteria, now you have the same size colony of slightly stronger bacteria in a short amount of time. This is why we have MRSA and other bacteria that we can’t kill with our strongest antibiotics like streptomycin. 2) You could weaken your immune system. Your body builds up a resistance to germs as it comes in contact with them. If you aren’t coming in contact with any germs, then your body isn’t building up a resistance. This will make your body even more susceptible to bacteria in the future.
Yes, we need to be clean, but we don’t want to become overly clean. It’s one of those too much of a good thing situations. Overall you should wash your hands regularly, but don’t freak out over a dollar bill or a hand rail.
[email protected] says
I really try and not think about all of the germs and bugs surrounding on us and around us. I know that they are there and take basic precautions such as showering every day and cleaning my hands on a regular basis but that is about all of the germ fighting I do.
Important points in this article that we should be aware of about how you could control germs and infectious disease. This would really be a huge help. Thanks for sharing this great article.