Guess what, folks! It’s ALWAYS been a good idea to wash your hands! Even if there isn’t a global virus such as Coronavirus that’s making headlines right now and sickening/killing people!
I’ve always been a fan of hand washing. I even taught my niece (whom was about 3 at the time) to sing the song “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” twice over while washing her hands to ensure she spent enough time doing it. We were at the Hands-On kids’ museum in Ann Arbor, MI in 2004, and the poor dear had just had a little “accident” that required the changing of her clothes – and cleaning up a bit. Her mother was at a work conference at the time, and being that I was the only female on this little excursion, I had to help with the “cleanup.” I didn’t mind – she was a good sport about it, and she had a change of dry clothes.
I wouldn’t say I’m a complete germophobe, but I am pretty finicky about the cleanliness of things going into my mouth (and I know I might’ve just walked into a dirty joke with that sentence…ahem). Here are just a few instances that involve me washing my hands:
Times I Tend To Wash My Damn Hands:
- Before eating. Sometimes even AFTER eating if the food is syrupy/sticky
- After coughing/sneezing on them
- Before preparing/cooking food
- After pumping gas (a bottle of hand sanitizer lives in the car for this purpose, more about hand goo aka “sanitizer” in a bit)
- After using super gross soda kiosks in fast-food establishments (read more about that little hangup of mine in this other blog I wrote
- After doing household chores (laundry, cleaning counters, cleaning toilets, handling household chemicals, etc.)
- After changing diapers. I’ve never had kids or taken care of them, but I imagine it’s a good time to WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS, PEOPLE!
- After shaking hands with ANYONE (I assume the hands of people shaking my hand are unwashed and coated with fecal germs). This is a completely unsanitary means of maintaining social graces that should’ve stopped when the first Cholera epidemic struck London. Why can’t we just greet each other with thumbs-ups, Vulcan “live long and prosper” salutes or playful winks? Oy…
Hand sanitizer – or “hand goo” – is a wonderful thing to have around if you’re going to be camping, pumping gas or attempting to keep clean if washing your hands with soap and water isn’t readily available. It’s also a great way to remember that you just got some fresh paper cuts and also ate salt and vinegar chips (trust me on this one)!
A couple of years ago, a local pub trivia company gave out small bottles of hand sanitizer to the players at a tournament. I still haven’t thrown mine away! It’s been refilled, and lives in a toiletry bag so we can use it when traveling/camping.
I’m not quite as finicky about public toilets. I’ve done quite a bit of camping, so stinky outhouses are just something you occasionally have to deal with. Definitely not an instance where you’ll bring reading material into the john or play Angry Birds on your phone (do people still play that game…I digress). Sometimes it’s necessary to place down some layers of TP if seat covers aren’t available, or even wipe down the previous toilet users piss droplets (yes it’s gross but sometimes necessary). But I’ve never “hovered” while using the toilet as many other women do. I think it just makes the problem of clean toilets worse. Nobody can “hover” THAT neatly!
So how do you know if you’ve spent enough time washing your hands? There are a number of fun things you can do while washing your hands to make sure you’ve washed away enough of your stinky filth and won’t be transmitting it to others (unless you cough or sneeze on them, but that goes without saying).
Fun Things To Do While Hand Washing
That will ensure you’ve spent enough time doing it…and also shame others who are not so tidy
- Recite the Lord’s Prayer
- Recite the Pledge of Allegiance
- Sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” twice
- Sing “Hail to the Victors” or the chorus of any sporty fight song
- Recite the opening dialogue to “Star Trek”
- Recite ANYTHING you know from memory, “Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost, the “What’s in a Name” speech from Romeo and Juliet, the names of every single one of the “Original 13” U.S. colonies, names of the Lesser Antilles Caribbean nations…whatever is in YOUR head!
- Tell people who don’t wash their hands after using the toilet to lick their hands. If they REALLY believe their hands are clean, they’ll do it!
So…what are you waiting for? WASH YOUR HANDS!