This is beyond obsession…

November 17, 2009, 8:43 PM

This is beyond obsession:

Hand sanitizer spray

What you’re looking at is a freestanding hand-sanitizer station in the main lobby of the building where I work. When you put your hand underneath it, the device sprays what I believe is an alcohol-based liquid on your hands. The building management put out two of these – one at each main entrance.

I understand that we want people to stay healthy, what with not only the regular flu going around, but also the H1N1 “swine flu” virus. This, however, goes a bit far, especially when placed across from the restrooms, where real soap exists.

See, the thing we really need to do is to get people into the restrooms and up in front of the sinks, and keep those soap dispensers well-supplied. Really, hand-washing is a far better idea, if you ask me. It rinses off the dirt and grime and sends it on its way, rather than just making that dirt and grime germ-free.

Now we just need to get people to really wash their hands. I’ve been in too many men’s rooms where the guys stroll up to the urinal, do their business, and then walk over to the sink and put their hands under the water for about half a second. Or worse, just walk out without ever going near the sink. I don’t know what the hand-washing situation is with women in public restrooms, but the men need to seriously work on the hand-washing. The soap is there, and it’s just screaming to get used. I promise, it’s not going to bite you. Put some soap on your hands, and then rub them together vigorously for a while, getting a nice lather going. This page recommends 15-30 seconds. Fifteen seconds is about the time it takes to sing the first verse of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (I timed myself). So if you sing it twice, that’s about thirty seconds. If you want to spice it up a bit, learn the third verse about the traveler in the dark, and sing that too (in your head, if not out loud). Then rinse and dry your hands.

Meanwhile, in one case, some Asian cultures have got it right. Instead of a handshake, as westerners do, these people bow. You don’t have to touch anyone’s hands that they didn’t wash after using the men’s room. You just bend at the waist, and hope you don’t hit the other person’s head while you each bow. Maybe if we all started bowing instead of shaking hands, we could prevent the spread of germs a little bit more…

Web site: No Soap? Then Hand Washing Is A Waste Of Time

Song: Scene from a Japanese game show. They need to have game shows like this in the US.

Quote: Meanwhile, I have recently seen some people actually sneeze into the crook of their elbow as the media has recommended. I have to say that's a good idea, though I can never seem to remember to do it whenever I sneeze. I usually sneeze into my hands and then immediately head to the sink.

Categories: Work