handwashing : Gay & Black Glossary



I would like to convince you to get in the habit of serious handwashing. Diseases are evolving resistance to various antibiotics. You can pass them around to other people on your hands, or via objects such as door knobs you touch, or handshaking especially to elderly people with compromised immune systems and people with HIV (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus). Diseases can’t very well evolve resistance to hand washing. If you do a good scrub with soap and water, the top layer of your skin rubs off, along with any bacteria living on it. That is pretty hard for them to evolve a defence to.

Your lower gut is really tough when it comes to resistance to microorganisms. Kilograms of toxic bacteria can live there without trouble. However, if they get into your upper gut, they cause serious problems and some can even kill you. The main way they get there is by you getting shit on your fingers and putting your fingers in your mouth without a thorough scrubbing with a nail brush first. Scrub out anything trapped under your nails. Don’t wear jewellery on your hands. It will harbour bacteria. If you must, take it off and scrub both it and your hands. After you wash, give your hands a sniff to make sure there is no residual odour.

Antiseptic soaps and cleansers are only marginally better than plain. It is the scrubbing that does the job.

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