Five years ago I wrote and published a book called The Six Keys to Optimal Health. I really contemplated the concept of adding a seventh key, which would have been hygiene, but I resisted because I made a gross assumption–that pretty much everybody in the modern world is attuned to this paramount health practice.

I now realize that I was severely wrong.  In fact, improper hygiene seems to be a continuing scourge of the new millennium. From dirty hospital rooms, leading to an increased spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria, to dirty tattooing equipment, to dirty soda fountains, it’s pretty clear to me that human beings haven’t yet gotten this one down, so let me say it loud and clear: WASH YOUR HANDS!

Whew, I feel better. According to researchers at the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety,

Hand-washing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infections. You can spread certain ‘germs’ (a general term for microbes such as viruses and bacteria) by touching another person even casually. You can also catch germs when you touch contaminated objects or surfaces and then touch your face,” the group explained in a news release from the Society for Women’s Health Research.

Yes, wash people. You go to the WC…wash. You shake somebody’s hand…wash. You handle money…wash. You touch food? Wash. You work with people? Wash. You have kids with snotty noses? Wash dang it!

Oh waaait…you don’t know how to properly wash your hands? Got it…okay, well here you go…straight from the Centers of Disease Control:

  • Place hands under clean, running water.
  • Once wet, add soap and rub hands together until suds form.
  • Scrub on every surface for at least 20 seconds (the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice), including both sides, between fingers and under fingernails.
  • Rinse hands again under running water and dry with a clean dry towel or air-dry.

Listen, proper hygiene is so important it’s often the difference between developed nations and third world countries. Some people even believe that it was the improvement in methods and practices of hygiene and not vaccinations that led to the dramatic decrease in death and illness due to infectious microorganisms–I’m one of these people.

Simple as this–wash your hands like you’ve never washed before. Get a sink in your car. Wash in your sleep. Go nuts–you can never wash too much. This has been a public service announcement.

3 Responses to Wash Dammit!

  1. RMSorg says:

    Love it! So many people will do things like open up a garbage can and proceed to handle food… Wash your hands before & after handling food!
    Also, before turning the water off after washing your hands vigoriously, grab a paper towel and turn off the faucet and use same pt to open bathroom door.. So many people walk out without washing hands and handles are full of not so pleasant things.. Just saying…

  2. I know, I know…

    Thank you, RMSorg–really appreciate your reading and commenting. Hope you come back often.

  3. Tizz says:

    If you sing “Happy Birthday to you” (in your head or out loud depending on how outgoing you are) — it’s about 20 seconds worth if you sing slowly and if you add “and many mooooore” at the end. And if you do sing out loud, it’s bound to land on someone with a birthday and make their day. Thanks for this article. Will pass it on. Micky

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