Don’t touch me.
Not just for my sake; but for your own. It seems that nowadays, we’ve become very aware of the sort of contamination that you could knowingly or unknowingly pass on to others. It’s obvious from the steps taken to protect one from unwanted germs, bacteria, viruses, residues, excretions, aerosols, etc, etc. For those with conditions that require a more germ-free environment, these extra precautions are a good thing, especially for folks with a compromised immune system.
There was a time, not so long ago, when it was ok for the hot lunch lady to hand you your mystery meat—with a meat hook. (Pardon the expression.) You and your school-aged peers may have noticed that if she had an especially fetching hair style; (most of the hot lunch ladies I knew, didn’t fetch) her hair was seldom held under any sort of restraint, save possibly a pert little cap.
The first job I had that required my presence on a regular basis, (other than a much despised paper route) was as clean-up boy in Roe’s Bakery. It was a popular spot for the folk in the small Utah town, and the place was kept pretty much spic and span, some of that because of my efforts. Since the citizenry preferred no surprises in their coffee cake or ham sandwiches, Roe attempted to keep his staff more or less unsoiled. My hands, because of their frequent immersion in dishwater, were mostly clean. As far as my workmates; well, I assume their’s were as well.
I recall the ladies in the shop sometimes wore hair nets, but as far as Roe and Elmo, the bakers, they were bald enough to be non-hazards. As far as my own tresses, they were normally saturated with enough Vaseline Hair Tonic to withstand a hurricane or possibly an errant tornado.
Nowadays, it seems anyone with even the remotest possibility of physical contact with others, wear some sort of protective hand-wear, eye-wear or other covering for those body parts most likely to offend.
What get’s my attention nowadays, are the times when I’m in line at a deli, or fast food establishment, and the help don plastic gloves to handle my order. So far, so good, but, what about the times they move around the food prep area, touching surfaces that are possibly not sanitary, and then dip into the cash register, fish out a handful of change, for another customer, and without changing gloves, hand you your food.
Were the gloves meant to protect the server, or the public? I wonder.
Over the past several years, liquid hand sanitizers have become very popular. At the gym (one place where bacteria thrive) my wife and I patronize, there are many stations with hand sanitizing liquid for the patrons. We carry a bottle in our car, and have several bottles around the house, so I spend several minutes each day sanitizing myself, so as not to be a bacteriological hazard to you.
All I ask in return is, that you—
Don’t touch me.