Algonquin spreads the germs
BY CASSIE DRESCH
In one hour, you will touch your face an average of 16 times. Now that you’re thinking about it, you’ll probably touch your face even more. It is probably safe to assume that at this very moment, you’re resting your chin on your hand.
In between the times you touch your face, you will touch a door knob, your laptop, your cellphone, a pen and countless other objects. Other people have probably touched at least one of these and passed on a tiny, but potentially harmful organism that can easily be dealt with.
Personal hygiene means something different to everyone. Erika Dole, Health Promotions Educator at Algonquin College says that it’s not only about taking care of yourself but other people as well.
“Personal hygiene is the act of taking care of yourself and your own health and well-being,” Dole said. “It also means that your personal hygiene would impact others around you.”
There are many ways to make sure that you can stay healthy and clean without it being a hassle. For most people, personal hygiene is just second nature. It involves showering on a regular basis, brushing their teeth, combing their hair, putting on a good deodorant, washing their hands and getting check-ups annually with their doctor or dentist.
Unfortunately it is easy to skip one of the most important aspects of personal hygiene: hand washing.
“That’s one thing I think people definitely don’t do often enough, especially in a place where there are so many people,” said Dole. “Germs can spread really easily in a college setting which I’m sure people have noticed. When one person gets sick, it seems like the entire school is sick.
“All that happens because people don’t wash their hands then they touch a doorknob or they touch the drinking fountain. You end up touching that then you touch your face or you don’t wash your hands before you eat. You sneeze and you cover your mouth and you don’t think about washing your hands later.”
Dole suggests washing your hands after using the washroom or before eating food. The Public Health Agency of Canada also says you should wash your hands before and after preparing food; after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; after playing with shared toys; after feeding children, before and after visiting people who are sick; and after handling animals or their waste.
You should be washing your hands every waking minute but because the world is in a constant state of go-go-go, there is just no time after instances like playing with an animal or playing with toys and gadgets. But washing your hands is actually very crucial to keeping yourself healthy and germ-free. It’s not just about washing them, though. It’s about how you wash them.
“It’s the actual scrubbing of your hands that loosen up germs and dirt,” said Dole, mentioning that using hot water and soap is best. “It’s not just putting on soap and then rinsing it under the water. That won’t really do anything. It’s the actual friction.”
So while it may seem like there is no time for personal hygiene or washing your hands, it benefits everyone. This is one instance where sharing is not caring.