Don't neglect proper hygiene – it’s good for you and everyone else

He appeared to be rushing so I’m assuming he went right back to work. I wanted to yell at him to “get back in here and wash your hands – it’s company policy!” but I exercised restraint.

From the stall…to the hall.

I dashed into a local McDonald’s restroom a few days ago and stood beside a young worker as we both “took care of business.”

As I washed my hands before exiting, he left his urinal, then walked right by me - and right by the sink he should have used. He appeared to be rushing so I’m assuming he went right back to work. I wanted to yell at him to “get back in here and wash your hands – it’s company policy!” but I exercised restraint.

It’s unsanitary. We live in a sickly world, in more ways than one. In this day and age, with various new strains of COVID-19 still emerging and the fact that people have communicable diseases (I'm not paranoid), some of us still don’t get it. And some never have.

I’m stunned by the sheer numbers of people who ignore or disregard basic tenets of good hygiene. Men and women alike.

It’s so important! And if you’re married, please don’t neglect your hygiene and good manners because “it’s just the two of us.” Good hygiene matters – especially to your spouse (whether they say it or not). We all want to be proud of our spouses and smelly, unkempt mates do not instill partner pride.

Good personal hygiene is one of the best ways to guard against getting viruses such as COVID-19, respiratory infections, or immunity concerns like colds and flus. Good hygiene is a simple act of washing our hands with soap. This remove germs that can make us sick and prevent us from spreading them to other people.

Personal hygiene includes such things as:

- Thoroughly bathing or showering every day

- Washing your hands with soap after going to the restroom

- Practicing good oral health: brushing your teeth twice a day

- Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue (or your sleeve) when sneezing or coughing

- Washing your hands after playing with pets

The germs that cause many diseases can be passed on through touching other people, inadvertently and even unknowingly getting feces (poo) on our hands, or coming into contact with dirty surfaces or objects, to name a few outlets. Germs are literally everywhere. About 99% of them can do us no harm but the other 1% can be scary. We don’t realize the accumulation of germs we touch on everything from the kitchen faucet, to dish towels to the ever-present cell phone. We touch, and then we share. We should take better care and caution – starting with ourselves.

Almost all of us are in a position to bathe or shower each day. Wash thoroughly, especially under our armpits and on and around our private parts. Keeping our body clean helps prevent skin irritations and removes bacteria that causes body odor. Wash with soap, shower gel, or a hypoallergenic body wash. Soap removes more germs, but we may need to wash sensitive body parts with plain water or salt water.

Also, it is advisable to use deodorant. Some folks don’t. It doesn’t have to be the traditional deodorant- there are other options for those of us who are very intentional about what we put on our body. More and more people believe that the ingredients in traditional deodorants, like aluminum and parabens, can negatively affect a person’s health. They may very well be right. According to a 2018 study, aluminum may change the body’s response to estrogen, which can be harmful over time. A 2017 study noted that women with breast cancer self-reported using antiperspirants several times a day, while those without breast cancer reported less use.

Yet another seemingly overlooked but very present hygiene issue is halitosis, better known as bad breath. Bad breath can be caused by poor oral hygiene but more importantly, can indicate more serious health concerns.

This year marks 30 years from when Vanessa and I first met. To this day, when she compliments my looks or says, “You smell good” or “I like that haircut,” I still stand a little taller and feel better about myself. What am I saying? Caring about and investing in proper personal hygiene is good for us – and for those around us. We feel better when we take care of ourselves – so let's give our self-esteem a boost. Make proper, regular hygiene a healthy habit.

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