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This Stinks

I read this last week: Hand dryers suck in fecal bacteria and blow it all over your hands, study finds . It’s quite alarming, but the truth is actually worse.

This is what happens in a public bathroom:

imageYou go into a stall and do what you do.

You finish and secure your pants, leaving some of the germs you picked up doing the job on your pants and belt.

You flush the toilet, leaving more of your germs there, and picking up some from the previous user. Meanwhile, the lidless toilet blows an invisible mist of water and fecal bacteria into the air, further contaminating your skin, clothing, air, and the door you are about to open.

You unbolt the door, leaving more of your germs there, and picking up some from the previous occupants.

You grab the door handle and pull the door open, repeating the exchange.

You go to the sink, turn on the water, trading germs again.

You wash your hands. Whew! Now your hands are clean.

You turn off the water. Uh-oh—more germs.

Now, you have three options:

1. Grab a paper towel, if available, wipe off some of the filth you picked up from the faucet, remembering that your clothes and face are still contaminated from the toilet flush spray and that you are still breathing the very air of derriere, and try to throw it away without touching the filthy garbage receptacle (good luck with that).

2. Go to the dryer and push the button (trading more germs), and get fecal bacteria blown all over your hands, sleeves, pants, shoes, and whatever else is in the path of that hot, filthy air.

3. Think you’re smart and wipe your hands on your pants. Uh-oh again (see above).

Then, you go to the door and grab the handle that’s been handled by no one knows how many others who have gone through the same routine as you.

It doesn’t end there.

imageIf you happen to be shopping at the time, you grab the handle of your shopping cart, probably picking up more of the same. (By the way, those little shopping cart seats in which parents set their toddlers, and where you like to put bananas, eggs, and other produce, are known to carry—brace yourselves—fecal bacteria and E. coli. The same goes for reusable shopping bags.)

You go out to your car, depositing a little of that bacterial goodness on your keys, door handle, steering wheel, seatbelt buckle, and sundry knobs and switches. On your way home, you grab a bite to eat—perhaps a cheeseburger with ketchup, mustard and a little condiment you brought with you from the mens/ladies’ room.

Finally, you go home, leaving little deposits on every doorknob you meet.

In the morning, after contaminating your bed and everything else you might have rubbed up against, you take a shower and put on clean clothes. Fresh and clean, you sit on your bed and pull on your shoes—the same shoes that . . .

It’s a wonder we’re all not dead.

Posted 2018·04·30 by David Kjos
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