How Corona Unmasked How Disgusting The World Really Is.

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Gabriel Lira, Writer

After being put into quarantine and being retaught the basics of hygiene that everyone should have been following from the beginning, I began to realize how gross people actually are. Unfortunately, I had been putting too much trust onto other people to wash their hands after they go to the restroom, but that’s just the start. Recently, American Multi-Cinema or AMC, a popular movie theater chain, rolled out a new initiative to clean their theaters. Now if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering, “huh… so they didn’t clean before?” Makes me wonder how we became the country with the highest infection rates because it’s honestly beyond me how it happened. I mean we were “so careful”, right? Not really.

After looking at AMC, I started to look back to March, when things were ‘normal’ and took a real hard look at how sanitary everything was. I decided what better place to start than a restaurant. The common restaurant could get an average traffic flow of 350-400 customers in a day. Probably 30 of those people will likely sit in the exact same spot throughout the day. While it should be noted that it is an impossible mission to erase every germ before the next person comes in and sits in their booth to eat, it should be considered a factor of cleanliness, nonetheless. We have a weird logic flaw where we just trust everything to be clean for us at all times. Which is obviously not the case. In reality, you should consider everything to be dirty until you see it clean enough for your liking. Just think, around 400 people can pass through the same place as you. It’s highly likely that if someone is sick, they’re probably leaving their sickly germs all over the place. The next person passing through will likely pick up a piece of those germs and drop some off on everything they touch that day until they wash their hands.

Okay, hands. Hands are our primary tools in life. We wouldn’t want to leave home without them. Well actually, we couldn’t but that’s not the point. The point is, that we do everything with our hands. That being said, most of us have something in common, we like to touch things. There are a lot of people I know that suffer from “wandering hands”, myself included. Wandering hands are just hands that need to be touching something at all times, usually doing it subconsciously. That’s how we transport germs and drop them off everywhere we go until the next time we wash our hands.

I don’t think people have a clear understanding of how much damage our hands can do.  So I’m going to provide stats to show you how impactful our hands can be. According to the CDC, 80 percent of common infections are spread through our hands. “Yeah I know that but I don’t touch other people’s hands all the time.” You don’t have to touch other people’s hands to get a virus transmitted to you. In fact, you could get it from just touching a door handle. According to CBS News, 40 to 60% of viruses are transmitted through a door handle. After people touch that door handle they most likely won’t think anything of it and touch their faces. In fact, every object a person has touched has the possibility of having a virus and that’s the way people should think. You don’t eat the food that you picked up from the ground because you know the ground is dirty. After all, that’s where there’s a lot of germs. That same mentality should apply to everything else. The only way to prevent getting sick from touch-transmitted diseases is to sanitize or wash your hands. 

Aside from germs being transmitted from our hands, there’s also another way of germs being spread, breathing. The air from a standard airborne virus can travel 6 feet therefore the usage of the six feet apart rule with the current COVID-19 pandemic. But what people tend to forget is that all the particles caused by breathing don’t just fade into the air diminishing as they go on. In fact, according to the National Health Institute of Health, the germs actually stay on the particles they land on and for a couple of hours too. So anything that’s been around people breathing has the possibility of having germs that can infect you. People don’t realize that and then to assume that the vicinity is clear once people have left the premise but that just isn’t the case. Anytime there’s any respiration happening without anything preventing the particles to spread, we must assume it is contaminated. People breathing on food? Contaminated. People breathing on your objects? Contaminated. And lastly, people breathing on you? Contaminated. Thus why we must wear a mask to prevent that and operate with the reduction of spread. 

Hopefully once this pandemic is contained and we are back to a standard of normalcy, more sanitation rules are put into place, especially for public places. Or at the very least, people are more aware of their own germ-spreading and do their part to keep things clean.  Until then, wash your hands and steer clear of people without masks.