Wash your hands please

In a book titled, Whack-a-Mole by David Marx, the author writes about the history of hand washing: “Given the high propensity for clean running water in most restrooms, one might expect near 100 percent compliance.” However, Marx explains, there is only a 60% compliance rate. In hospitals. Gross.

If six out of every ten people in a hospital wash their hands, then about half the folks in your office, your congregation and your school follow proper hand-washing techniques. Grossitation.

Marx also points out that men are less likely to wash their hands than women and when in a public washroom alone, they are even less likely – as there is nobody to see you. And for those of you who “wash” your hands, washing is considered “fifteen seconds scrubbing with soap and water (and) not three seconds of streaming water.”

4 thoughts on “Wash your hands please

  1. As socially delinquent as it is of me to admit this on the public internet, I don’t bother washing my hands properly as it is an utter waste of time. In order to have any kind of impact on the spread of disease, you need compliance rates of at least 80%. In a past life I QC’d a high risk food preparation zone, and it was hard enough achieving 80% in there, as proved by hand swabs. Out in the real world, I’d be surprised if anything short of Ebola would cause a change in behaviour.

  2. Thanks for your comments. In the last year, it’s become very common in these parts to see hand sanitizer dispensers in the lobby of every building and mall. (Two years ago, you’d only see these medical offices.) And while perhaps we are being germ-a-phobes, I still find it vile to see a man pee into a urinal then leave the men’s room without washing.

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