Laugh at the germaphobe, see her fret, point and stare while she loses herself to obsession. Such peculiar behaviour. But is it extreme, or wise to worry about surfaces that aren’t bastions of sanitation?
Germaphobes have a pathological fear of germs, and are obsessed with hygiene. They go to extremes when it comes to avoiding germs. We touch germ-harbouring stuff all day without realising it; light switches, doorknobs, phone receivers, the remote control, taps - the list is endless. And now, here are six more spore infested fortresses to add to the paranoia, some of which may never have crossed your mind, most of which survive quite easily in the petri dishes of our lives.
1. Restaurant menus
Have you ever seen anyone wash off a menu? Cold and flu viruses survive for 18 hours on hard surfaces. Hundreds of people handle restaurant menus – and in doing so, very generously pass their germs on to you. Never let a menu touch your plate or silverware. Don’t boo or hiss – the germaphobe washes her hands after placing her order.
2. Lemon wedges
Nearly 70% of the lemon wedges perched on the rims of restaurant glasses contain disease-causing microbes. Tell your waiter that you prefer to take your beverages sans fruit.
3. Condiment dispensers
Restaurants regularly bleach their condiment dispensers - JOKES. The guy who squeezed the ketchup before you may have very charitably propagated his germs over your fries.
4. Restroom door handles
Don't think you can escape the restroom without touching the door handle? Palm a spare paper towel after you wash up and use it to grasp the handle. Yes, other patrons may think you're deranged, but you'll never see them again - and cheers to your better health!
5. Soap dispensers
Restroom dispensers are contaminated with faecal bacteria. Soap that harbours bacteria - how ironic is that? Most of these containers are never cleaned, so bacteria grow as the soap scum builds up, and the bottoms are touched by dirty hands, so there's a continuous culture feeding millions of bacteria – eeekk! It’ll be alcohol based sanitisers for me! Well ... who will turn off my tap?
6. Grocery carts
The handles of shopping carts are contaminated with bacteria. In fact, bacterial counts of carts exceed those of the average public dunny. And while you're wheeling around the supermarket, skip the free food samples, which are nothing more than communal hand-to-germ-to-mouth zones. What now - online shopping?
OMG – with this arsenal of germs about, I may never leave the house again!
PS. We really do love puppies too ;)