Wash Your Hands!

Flu mania is kicking into full gear and everyone is ready to flip out, crawl over each other for their flu shots, and zip up their biohazard suits as fast as they can! But wait! It might be easier than you think to avoid the flu. Take a deep breath (but not near someone with the sniffles!) ...

First, the flu shot. As Jim Macdonald at Making Light reminds us, "October is the time for vulnerable folks to get 'em: That’s the people who are 65 or older, folks with chronic health problems, pregnant women, children ages 6-23 months, and health-care workers. November is the time for household members who live with the previous folks, people aged 50-64, and everyone else."

Next, washing your hands.

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Macdonald reminds us how to do it properly:

1) Turn on the water and get it to a temperature you like.
2) Lather up using soap. (Soap does not kill germs in the time that the germs are exposed during hand washing. There’s stuff that grows fine on a bar of soap. The surfactant action of soap helps the running water flush the germs away. That’s how it works. It’s purely mechanical. Antibacterial soap is a waste of time and money, and just helps breed antibiotic-resistant bugs.)
3) Rub your hands vigorously together, paying special attention to the fingernails, getting up onto the wrists, for as long as it takes you to sing one stanza of "The Star Spangled Banner."
4) Rinse off the soap with the running water.
5) Dry your hands with a paper towel.
6) Use the expended paper towel to turn off the water.

This brings to mind fond memories of when I was a child. My grandma was always sort of on the OCD side and would constantantly order me to wash my hands. Everywhere I went, before and after meals, after touching any animal or playing outside, basically each day was framed around washing my hands. Here's a video clip of that experience:

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