I often talk about Canada, and you all seem to enjoy hearing about it: the seasons, the geography, the snow, the cold, the local wildlife, the 2010 winter Olympics…etc. Well, today I’d like to inform you all about a common practice where I come from.
In Canada, it is common practice to wash your hands after using the toilet. (After checking some various on-line (and probably inaccurate) statistics, there is on average, approximately 35%, of the Canadian population that doesn’t wash their hands after using the toilet. This behavior is not only frowned upon, but is risky to your health and to others.)
See, your toilet activities are a fabulous place for germs to grow and gather. I won't get into all the gross details about what the bathroom germs are and the horrible, disgusting side effects - I’m not here to gross you out.
I shall leave it at this: Diseases that can be contracted from not washing your hands range from the common cold and flu to parasitic diseases like E.coli, Giardia and Salmonella. These last three are serious business.
So, dearest co-workers, I would like to request that you please, please wash your hands after:
- Using the toilet
- Wiping/picking your nose (I’m not judging, I’m just saying wash your hands after please).
- Scratching/touching any private part (again, not judging. Just wash please).
Since we all share the same toilet, I see quite a few of you use the facilities and leave without washing your hands. Perhaps you did not know the importance of such a habit. In fact, hand washing is SO important, that the United Nations has marked October 15th as world Handwashing Day!
Not only does this protect yourself, dear office-mates, but most importantly (yes, I said most importantly) it helps me out TREMENDOULSY. You see, I have this wimpy Canadian body that isn’t used to all of the various bacteria present in the country. So, if you don’t wash your hands after your toilet tasks, you risk having bacteria on them. You may have immunity to this bacteria, and it’s possible, it may not even effect you. But, you come and borrow my pen, or use the printer, and then I use the pen, or push the same buttons immediately after you, and now it's possible that I now have that bacteria. And my pathetic immune system – can’t fight these bugs off. The foreign bacteria has a party in my stomach, and makes me spend A LOT of time in the toilet. And…it’s not fun. And quite exhausting.
I understand there may be exceptions where hand washing is not possible. I myself have used nature’s facilities alongside a road – and not been able to wash my hands. However, for the most part, I would truly appreciate, if you don’t mind terribly, to please use the soap, situated directly by the sink, to wash your hands, and then use the paper towel (or hand dryer if you’d like) and dry your hands after using the toilet (or partaking in any of the conditions noted above) before leaving the toilet area (in Canada we call it a washroom – but whenever I use the term here – in French or English – people thing I’m referring to a bath).
If you wash your hands and I take some extra (but not compulsive behavior-like) precautions, I think my time here in this wonderful country will be more enjoyable, which in turn will make your time more enjoyable, since I’ll be less cranky, look less like a pale gray ghost, and generally just be nicer to be around.
My stomach, my wimpy immune system, and myself, thank you so much for your co-operation.
(if it were only that easy.....)