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How I became a Germaphobe

Before this pandemic crisis, some people have accused me of being too much of a germaphobe…however, I can remember exactly why I am the way I am based on my experiences…It’s time for a trip down memory lane…..

I still remember when I was around 11 years old, I had just finished borrowing some books from my local library…and I needed to cross the road to get to our car. I pressed the pedestrian crossing button…and when I went home, it was all downhill from there.

When I went home my finger suddenly felt incredibly itchy. I looked at my finger and small yellow pimple-like pus filled bumps appeared on my pinky finger. I had to cover my entire in bandages because the pus kept leaking out…Anyways, I used this as an excuse to not play violin anymore…because whatever that virus or infection was…it stayed there! I contemplate that there may have been a small cut in my finger which meant that whatever germs was on that pedestrian button must have gone in. Needless to say, I did my best to not touch a pedestrian button from that day.  Strategies to avoid touching it include, waiting for someone else to press it.. there’s plenty of inpatient people around who will press it regardless whether or not someone has done it already :P. I can also use things (that can be easily cleaned later) in my bag to press it, i.e. car/house keys, pens, or umbrellas! This goes the same for elevator buttons and whatever buttons.


 

Fast-forward the future, I was in my third year of pharmacy school and we were doing a microbiology subject in which we investigated the number of bacteria which was on different surfaces. My friend and I both did a swab of our phone screens…A few days later when we came to see our results…My swab came back with bacteria of all colours..it was incredibly gross! However, my friend’s phone only had a few small dots of the same colour. Obviously, there was a massive difference between the two of our phones…I felt incredibly grossed out about the disgustingness of my phone…and this is when I started becoming a little obsessed with having a clean phone, hand, and surfaces if needed. I bought small single use alcohol wipes and put them everywhere, so that I could have clean hands, phones, etc whenever. If no soap in the toilet, no worries I have my alcohol wipes…I found alcohol wipes worked better for me than those small bottles of hand sanitiser because I am quite bad at putting the lid back on properly after using it and it spilt all over my bag… numerous times..

 


Few more years later, I went on a trip to Canada and I had a friend who was even more germaphobe than me! He would always take extra napkins at restaurants and put his phone down on a napkin. I asked him why he did that, and he said… “How do you know that this table is clean? Maybe they haven’t wiped down the table properly..there might be germs on it” and then your phone is DIRTY. MIND BLOWN and from then on, I never put my phone down on any public surface again…even at work I like to put my phone on my book or on a tissue… and I try clean my phone and watch at least once a day when I get home.


 

Using cutlery at restaurants…I never thought about it this way…but I had a friend who would vigoursly wipe spoons and forks at restaurants a clean tissue before use…because who knows how clean they really are… I remember when I was in China as a child to visit relatives, the restaurants provided you with near boiling water so that you would disinfect and wash all the cutlery they provide you. I now try make sure none of my cutlery ever touch the table and I really really get pissed if the waiters just throw your cutlery directly on the table.

 


Once when working in a community pharmacy, there was a little old lady that was on some anti-viral tablets (maybe for herpes() who suddenly leaned across the counter and gave me a huge kiss on my cheek. EWWWW is all I could hear in my head.. When she was gone, I literally put alcohol gel all over my face…who knew what viruses she may be spreading. I have always been super paranoid about getting cold sores, because I don’t have them…IF i share a drink with someone, I have to ask them if they have had coldsores before….because I reallllly don’t want that thanks.

 


Working in the health care made me aware that I could be encountering people with all sorts of diseases and viruses when working in the pharmacy or in the hospital. I have made it a habit to always shower when getting home and washing my hair and getting rid of my work clothes…I try to wear a near set of clothes each day…who knows what germs are harboured on my clothes :O.


The constant cleanliness that I can see in my community makes me extremely happy…I am glad others are thinking about germs now…I hope this stays even post pandemic..

I will show you some photos of places in Adelaide putting into practice social distancing and making sure that sick people don’t infect others.

Every second check out is closed to allow for social distancing in supermarket.

 

 

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This was my badminton club before they closed the gym..making sure that everyone cleans their hands while playing and yes, they are worried about people stealing the hand sanitiser.

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This was outside one of the pharmacies that I went to…They asked people with any signs of symptoms not to enter the pharmacy… Other pharmacies also had signs saying they would close in the middle of the day to clean all the surfaces. There was also hand santiser at the entrance for all customers entering the shop

 

 

This was my coles at 7am when I went there to buy groceries in the early morning which was open just to frontline workers.. Everyone is standing about 1.5 metres apart…for “social distancing”.IMG_2525

Stay safe guys! Hugs and kisses are out~ Foot shakes and waves are in.

Joy

 

 

 

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