What happened to observing basic hygiene standards?
The headlines and news reports in the last week or so have been quite alarming.
"New flu bug on the way. Serious strain is already affecting many. Winter sickness virus affects more people than ever before. Norovirus downing people like flies."
Am I surprised at all this? Not in the least. We have become such a dirty nation. What has happened to us over the years?
When we were small, one of the things you were taught was to wash your hands after the loo and definitely before meals.
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How many folks follow this? Certainly not many, in my experience.
Yesterday, I went into a cafe in the heart of Charnwood.
The person who served me had a good cough into his hand and then proceeded to lift a cup off the shelf by putting his fingers right inside it.
I have observed that in many cafes. This is quite a common practice.
"Could I have a cup which you haven't put your fingers into?" I asked politely as I normally do when I see this happening.
He reached for another one and took it by the handle.
Not only had he coughed into his hand, but he was also handling money.
Then there's money handed over from the dozens of people outside, many who had dogs. Take doggy out. Dog does poo. Pick it up, albeit in a bag, then dog owner handles his money and passes it over for food and drinks in the cafe.
Cafe man takes the money and then moves on to put his fingers in the cup to lift from shelf to make a drink for the next customer. Nice one.
Today, I popped into Leicester. I went into one of our slightly upper class shops and decided to use the loo before I left.
As I queued, I watched women coming out of the cubicles and moving to the sinks to wash their hands.
Out of eight women not one of them washed their hands properly. Two didn't bother at all. The others quickly wiggled their finger ends under the cold tap and proceeded to the dryer. Only one used soap.
Then you make a purchase. Take it to the till and the lady thoroughly licks her fingers to open the bag. This practice is disgusting, too.
It doesn't take a lot to be a little more aware of hygiene. It takes only half-a-minute to give your hands a thorough wash.
Food outlets whose staff put fingers inside cups to lift from shelves and tops of coffee machines ought to look at their practices.
If cups cannot be lifted down without putting dirty fingers (and hands can hardly be germ-free when they are handling money) inside then they should be stacked at a lower level.
People separating paper and polystyrene cups are as bad.
They should pull them from the bottom or get some sort of holder, not pull the top one out with fingers and thumb groping inside.
Perhaps I am too fussy. Or maybe we should all complain just a bit more.
I know that the environmental health experts have said that the only way to keep these illnesses down is to wash hands thoroughly and regularly. I agree.
C Williams, Quorn.