I’m not too much of a germaphobe, but a number of recent studies have highlighted just how unsanitary commonly used surfaces are. One report states that gas pumps are the top offenders for breeding unhealthy bugs, followed by other public facilities such as mailboxes, ATMs, and shopping cart handles. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid contact with anything someone else may have used, but a few simple steps can help decrease your chances of getting sick from these germs.
The biggest risks are your daily commute and any time you eat out. Experts suggest washing your hands immediately upon arriving at work, then wiping down your keyboard and workspace before getting started. Conference rooms and break rooms, which can be frequented by dozens of people, need particular attention. In addition, you should wash your hands before and after every meal.
Proper hand washing requires more than a perfunctory rinse-and-dry. Start by running warm water over your hands. Apply soap, and rub your hands together for about 20 seconds. For best results, work outward from your wrists to your fingertips. Now rinse, preferably in the wrist-to-fingertips direction. Dry your hands with a clean paper towel, use the paper towel to turn off the water, and throw it out.
Obsessively worrying about germs might be going too far, but a healthy respect for cleanliness can go a long way to avoiding illness during this cold and flu season.
Growing up in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nolan Erickson began working at Church Wyble PC in 2007 as a law clerk. Now as an attorney, Mr. Erickson has developed extensive experience with all phases of trial and pre-trial resolution of personal injury matters, including major auto accident, medical malpractice, and other serious injury cases.