The COVID-19 pandemic has genuinely made us realize that it’s a microorganism’s world, and we’re all just living in it. No matter where we are, every surface surrounding us is covered with an incredible amount of viruses, bacteria, and whatnot. However harmless most of these germs seem, and regardless of how solid our immune system is in fighting them, some of them can make us gravely sick.
For most bacteria and infections, the hands present as the perfect entryways to the body. It’s worth mentioning that our hands come into contact with more germ hotbeds than we can imagine. Below are some typical germ hotspots and a few preventive measures to safeguard your health.
Germs in public
Can you think of all the surfaces that you touch in public? Well, now imagine thousands of germy hands on the same surface. Though disturbing, it’s not likely that most of these places get cleaned very often.
Following are some germ hot spots in public spaces:
- Escalator rails
- Gas pump handles
- Grocery shops
You may only visit an ATM for cash collection purposes, but you’re also unknowingly collecting other people’s bacteria while there. Countless people, carrying numerous germs in each touch, use the same ATM keypads every day. The situation gets truly distressing when you think about the frequency of cleaning of these machines. Though there are some preventive tips below, people enrolled in an MPA online focus explicitly on deriving solutions to public health problems like this one.
- Avoid touching the face after using the ATM.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Sanitize your hands if washing them isn’t a possibility.
Grocery Shopping Carts
What are grocery shops and supermarkets, if not people rushing from one aisle to another while pushing their carts with germ-ridden hands? A study of 85 different grocery stores reports that shopping carts’ surface fosters more bacteria and germs than public toilets. And E.Coli and salmonella contamination can be life-threatening.
- Always clean the handle of your cart before you start shopping.
- If the store doesn’t have disinfectant wipes, carry a pack or use a sanitizer.
Germs At Home
The majority of people assume that the bathroom is the dirtiest place in their homes. Well, germs don’t operate on human assumptions and tend to accumulate in the kitchen the most. Besides the kitchen, the following are some germ hotspots in the home:
- Kitchen sink
- Pet bowl
- Toothbrush holder
- Coffee pot reservoir
It’s an innocent misunderstanding that kitchens are least likely to foster any germs. After all, that’s where we prepare and enjoy our meals, right? Not quite. The kitchen serves as the ideal crawl space for many deadly germs. Cleaning raw food, discarding food scraps, and dishwashing in the sink are practices that make it so. Above 50,000 bacteria can gather in a single kitchen sink; even the toilet can’t beat that!
- Clean the sink with soap and lukewarm water, especially after handling raw meat.
- Wipe it down regularly with disinfectant.
Contrary to popular belief, we leave our toothbrushes dirtier after we brush our teeth every morning. Most people set their brushes to dry on the bathroom counter without a second thought. However, airborne germs can stick to the brushes’ bristles as there is proximity to the toilet. Moreover, a sick person’s toothbrush can re-infect the entire household with germs like E.Coli, strep, and mold fungus.
- Regularly sanitize brushes and holders in the dishwasher and change them every six months.
- Air-dry toothbrushes in upright holders.
- Place them the farthest away from the toilet.
Germs at work
Besides our homes, most of us spend most of our waking hours at our workplace. And so, we use the office kitchen, toilets, and electronics quite frequently. With the vast number of people visiting these places each day, chances they’re not getting cleaned as they should be. Workplace germ hotspots include:
- The bathroom sink and faucet handles
- Computer keyboards
- Electronic appliances like refrigerators and microwaves
Research reveals that the bacteria from our hands, skin, and hair can potentially transfer new bacteria to desks and keyboards. Guess what the most significant cause of contamination in the workplace is? It’s eating on your desk, especially over the keyboard. In a random sample of 25 keyboards, 96% showed high odds of bacterial or germ contamination.
- Wipe down keyboards, and other devices with a disinfectant wipe regularly.
- Wash your hands before sitting down to work.
The break room
Indeed, those little breaks are the most awaited part of our dreary workdays. Germs also can’t wait to join in while you and your colleagues chat over a cup of tea in the break room. Numerous microorganisms lurk in spaces like sponges and kitchen sinks. In fact, the office restroom is 200,000 times less germy than the typical dish sponge!
Additionally, bathroom faucet handles, doorknobs, and countertops provide perfect nesting spots for bathroom and food-related bacteria. Sadly, your coffee isn’t safe either. According to researchers, around 50% of break room coffee-maker reservoirs showed signs of bacterial contamination.
- Use disposable paper towels instead of dish sponges and rags.
- Regularly wipe down the kitchen sink and countertops using a disinfectant.
- Disinfect the faucet handles and doorknobs daily and use a paper towel to touch them.
- Try washing the coffee-pot reservoir using white vinegar once a week.
The Final Word
This article explored the germiest yet overlooked places in our daily lives. Some germ hotspots include computer keyboards, kitchen sinks, office break room, and ATMs. Knowing where germs breed and how to prevent their spread can help you eliminate the risk of future infections and illnesses.