What about all the germs collecting on our elbows?

Germs Touch screen --The Hot Mess Press

We are told to use our elbows instead of our hands to avoid infection risks. However, how many germs gather on our elbows? Nowhere are we reminded to sanitize our elbows! Whether we use our hands or elbows, the list of germ-infested places and objects we touch as we go about our lives is endless. Go through the following list of hot spots to make sure nothing slips your mind. The new strain of the Covid 19 virus is significantly more transmissible than the original strain.

Touch screen
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Touch screens are covered with germs

Tests done on the touch screens of several fast-food restaurants delivered disturbing results. Most prevalent was bacteria of fecal matter. Did you get that? That means many people who touched the screen you are about to use failed to wash their hands after pooing. The second highest presence was staphylococcus, which could cause blood poisoning. I cannot even imagine how many Covid germs are on the touch screens we never hesitate to touch. Many supermarkets use touch screens to speed up checking out. Not to mention ATM machines, cell phones, PDAs, vending machines and video games.

Germs in Public restrooms
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Beware the germs in public restrooms

Regardless of the “clean” pine-scented smell of some public restrooms, the presence of germs is scary. Bacteria-filled fine droplets fly into the air with every flushing of the toilet. Although many people don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom, even those who do could spread germs before they wash their hands. On the way to the basin, they pull the soap dispenser’s pump-action and then touch the tap if the system does not automatically squirt out a stream of water.

Many of those who wash their hands are not likely to spend the advised 20 seconds doing it in a public restroom. Therefore, when they move onto the wall-mounted air dryer, the remaining germs on their hand will fly into the air with each blast of air. Even if you spent 20 seconds washing your hands, touching the door handle can put you right back where you were because thousands of unwashed hands have touched it before you.

Germs on restaurant menu
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Restaurant menus have more germs than toilet seats

When visiting a restaurant, sanitize your hands after placing your order and not before. Hundreds of people touch the menus each day. Nevertheless, in most restaurants, they wipe the menus down no more than once per day. Alarmingly, even if they start off using a clean rag, imagine how many germs would be on that rag by the time they get to the last one. Also, never let your silverware touch the menu.

Quite frankly, to me, it seems we’re fighting a losing battle because touching the salt and pepper shakers is the next hazard because how often are they wiped down? Therefore, the best bet would be to take your bottle of sanitizer along and clean everything on the table before you touch it.

Glass with lemon slice
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Decline the lemon slice with your drink

Whether you order a glass of iced tea or another beverage, you may want to order it without the slice of lemon on the rim of the glass. Researchers found alarming levels of dangerous microbes on restaurant lemons, including feces and E.coli.

Germs on Gym Equipment
Photo-by-Karolina-Grabowska-from-Pexels

How often does your gym clean equipment?

We go to the gym to improve our health without considering the germ-covered equipment’s dangers. Studies show that elliptical machine handles and weights have similar types and levels of germs as public restrooms. Remember, bacteria on the skin of any person transfers to the gym equipment they touch.

Children playground
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Protect your child from playground germs

Have you ever seen anyone cleaning playground equipment? I doubt it. Consider all the grubby little hands grabbing swings, slides and climbing equipment. Not to mention the sandbox, which is often warm and moist, ideal circumstances for hiding dangerous bacteria.

Germs on Drinking Fountain
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Hot spots for germs at your kids’ school

Here the list is particularly endless. However, I want to mention two that some parents might have missed. The first is the drinking fountain. Teach your children never to let their mouths touch the spout of the fountain. Better yet, let them take their own water bottle to school. The second often overlooked germy things are the cafeteria trays. Every time a student carries a tray, they deposit and collect germs.

Child in Shopping Cart
Photo by Chick Newman Flickr

Shopping cart risks

Researchers say shopping cart handles are home to about 11 million dangerous microorganisms, some of which come from raw meat. Consider the many babies with dirty diapers on the baby seat. Use those antibacterial wipes the stores offer or take along your own.

Elevator Buttons
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What about elevator buttons?

Elevator buttons pose a similar risk to door handles. Have some sanitizer ready, and use your elbow to push the buttons. Better yet, take the stairs.

TV remote with germs
Photo by UiHere

Do you spend time in hotel rooms?

Some of the not-so-obvious objects you might want to wipe with a sanitizer include the switch of the bedside lamp, telephone and the hairdryer. However, the most significant risk in a hotel room is the TV remote.

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