Just so you don’t get the wrong idea, this is not a Disney spinoff about how a germ stands up to the forces of disinfectant wipes. Rather, I’m going to tell a story of a typical man living his typical day. A dirty story. In this story, you will be able to observe some of the dirtiest things we touch on a daily basis, and where germs concentrate and live in.
The story goes like this:
A man wakes up to a new day. Goes to work in his car. Spends most of the day in the office. Visits a restaurant after work. Does grocery shopping. Returns home and calls it a day.
That’s the clean version. Are you ready for the uncensored version? The version with clues on where germs thrive and get transferred to people? Here it goes:
The alarm starts beeping on Bob’s phone, telling Bob that it’s time to wake up. In response, Bob turns to his side and blindly reaches for his phone in an attempt to turn off the alarm. After the morning routine, he finally gets in his car and leaves for his office.
Noticing that the fuel is running out, Bob stops by a gas station en-route to refuel his car. As he positions the gas pump handle to refuel, he checks his wallet and realises that he’s running out of cash and hurries to the ATM to withdraw some money. He plans to do some grocery shopping today.
Bob reaches his office and picks up his favourite coffee from the vending machine along the way. He gets into an elevator and taps for the 15th floor, where he works. With coffee in one hand, he holds the door handle with the other and steps into his office. As soon as he sits down on his chair, he starts using the keyboard and computer to get on his pending tasks.
Soon enough, it’s time for lunch. Bob decides to have his lunch at a burger joint across the street. As it is a popular restaurant, Bob struggles a bit to get a seat. After a while, he finally gets a seat and places his food on the table. As he finishes his food, he heads for a toilet break and to clean up his hands. This is where Bob uses the toilet seat, as well as the toilet door latches. Afterward, Bob returns to his office to continue with his work.
As the day ends, Bob goes to a nearby mall with a supermarket. He parks his car and uses the escalator in the mall to get to the supermarket. Once there, he grabs a shopping cart and starts browsing for the groceries he needs.
Bob reaches home, switches on the light, and places some of the groceries he bought into the fridge. He starts washing the vegetables in the sink to prepare his own dinner. 30 minutes later, his dinner is ready and he brings his food to the living room, sits comfortably on his sofa and turns on his favourite TV show with the remote control. He is finally able to call it day.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how germs literally get in touch with Bob, or possibly any of us. You see, a germ’s life is simple, it basically consumes and reproduces, and wait for potential hosts to transfer them around. Let’s take a look at some of the dirtiest things Bob touched on a seemingly ordinary day.
- Gas Pump Handle
- Vending Machine
- Elevator Buttons
- Door Handles/Knobs
- Restaurant Seats/Tables
- Toilet Seat/Door Latches
- Escalator Rail
- Shopping Cart
- Light Switches
- Fridge Handle
- Kitchen Sink
- Remote Control
The items in the list are not even garbage or organic wastes, but believe it or not, they harbour a crazy amount of bad microorganisms and constantly rated as some of the dirtiest items we come into contact with every single day. That’s because these things tend to be touched by many people or not being cleaned for a long time.
Although bacteria, viruses, and parasites live among us, the human body is properly designed to withstand the onslaught from bad microorganisms to a certain degree. We have multiple layers of filter and protection on the external parts of our body to prevent these baddies get into our important internal organs so that they do not get infected.
That being said, there are conditions that might favour the microorganisms and enable them to infect us, such as when there is a high concentration of them, or when we are in a weak and vulnerable situation (open wound, weak immune system, invasive treatment). When these conditions exist, additional steps can be taken to avoid infections from taking place, such as using a disinfection system to kill most, if not all microorganisms in order to provide a safe and healthy environment.
Disinfectants are generally and diligently used in:
Now that you’ve seen some of the ways we are exposed to germs every day, what do you think about it? Share what makes you feel safer in the comments!