Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – Barry the Germaphobe & H1N1 Compliant

IMG_0118Every year I battle if I should get the flu shot or not.  Kaiser, my medical insurer and provider each year encourages me to get the flu shot; and you can’t go in a major grocery store, drug store or Kaiser without seeing “Flu Shot Here” signs everywhere.   NOTE I’M NOT SAYING TO OR NOT TO GET THE FLU SHOT!!!!   img_0078.jpg
It is also important to remember that the flu shot vaccine is a roll of the of the dice each year as they only can guess which influenza will hit the country, and they do generally hit most of the virus’s that come through the population.

The one year out of the last decade I got the flu shot, I got the flu.   I generally don’t get sick outside of each year I get a sinus infection with the first major allergy outbreak.  How do i not get the flu without the shot…… 

th-1Well to start out I’m a germaphobe and I wash my hands about forty times a day; but often without soap.  Why no soap?; did you know that there are germs living outside and inside of many refillable restroom soap dispensers?  A Columbia School of Nursing research shows that refillable public soap dispensers have their own set of germs.  Also think about the fact that everyone with dirty germmy hands touches the soap dispenser before washing their hands.  

If in a public restroom I also always save the paper towel from drying my hands to open the restroom door if it has a handle.  If the door is one I can push open I use my lower arm, or my shoulder if I’m not wearing a long sleeve shirt.   

I DON’T use antibacterial soaps or gels on a daily basis…. some people I’ve worked with used the gels on an hourly basis or MORE!!!  A FDA study shows that antibacterial soaps can lead us to a set of germs tat will build a resistance to the chemical in the soaps to kill germs.  I have found that the people I know that get sick a lot are the same ones that use the antibacterial gels constantly.  Working with the public all of my work life I did use antibacterial gels after I have encountered a really sick person or a person with poor hygiene habits, but never on a daily basis. 

IMG_0120I told you how I open bathroom doors, but how about other public doors.  I always open doors when possible without my hands, I love the automatic door openers I can hit with my elbow or foot.  If I have to use my hand I open them with my righthand as it is my public hand.  Think about it, even if your left-handed you shake someone else’s righthand that has touched everything.  Now when using my righthand I only touch the bottom of the handle or if it is a bar handle as far away from the edge as that is where most people touch it.  Ok, some of you are saying that germmy kids use the bottom of door handles….and your right but look at a bottom and top of handles and you’ll see almost no wear on the bottom’s but the tops are wearing down through the metal layers so the bottoms are hardly ever used by kids.

Now since I use my righthand for all germmy things I do, what do I use my lefthand for……well taking a tissue to my nose, taking care of an itch on my face, eating a unwrapped sandwich, burger, etc. and the fries!!!   I know I’m safe using my lefthand as it has not touched any public surfaces or someone else’s hand via a handshake.

My Family and Friends that really know me understand…..Our Friend/Realtor and fellow germaphobe, Missey, and I got Sandi to come fully to our camp this last year.  About twenty years ago Missey and I were the founders of a fundraising group for our kids Dance Competition Team selling Hot Dogs, Coke, Beer, Popcorn and Peanuts at a Giants/49ers Hot Dog stand inside Candlestick and AT&T Parks.  It was a fun experience except for the fact we drove our teammates crazy with our germaphobe habits….which we tried to have them follow….didn’t work.

I hope this gave you some insights on how I stay healthy.  I know some of you won’t get it….it being the flu or my thoughts and quirks.  As an Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Disaster/Emergency Services Assistant I had to go to different types of seminars one of which was dealing with the “Influenza A virus subtype H1N1” back in 2009, this training focused on the germs on our hands which sent me over the top on my germaphobic habits.  I since have said I’m “H1N1” compliant.

2 thoughts on “Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – Barry the Germaphobe & H1N1 Compliant

  1. cottonandsilk

    Yes, after having viral pneumonia last year … I saw a benefit to one of your quirks and have stopped smirking at you (and Missey!). My way of handling the germ situation is by letting you open all doors for me (wink, wink) but doesn’t account for the issues in public bathrooms which now gives me the greatest angst. It took over 30 years …. but, yes, you brought me over to your camp!



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