Let’s Talk Hygiene and Water Bottles

Sip with Caution

Sip with Caution

Sani wipes, sani rinse, sani life is the norm today. Allergies and pathogens are taking over and the populous is on a crusade to stop their advancement into our immune systems.

How many times have you seen someone take their used water bottle and fill up at the communal water cooler? Has everyone overlooked the contagious contact? Am I the only paranoid poisoned, bacteria filled phobic to stop and ponder about the proximity of where that persons lips were on their bottle which is now pushed up against the communal spigot?

I’ve lived and travelled all over the world and have seen many a unhygienic sight, like the time I was in Cairo funnily enough at a water cooler in a museum. There was a mini tower of paper cups attached to the unit. A well disheveled traveler (or local maybe) sauntered up to the cooler, took a cup, filled it with water, drank and then put the cup back in the same spot where he pulled it from; a kind gesture for the next thirsty tourist. Waste not want not! Share and recycle, even your germs.

Or my personal favorite, the time in Riyadh at the Intercontinental (it still gives me nightmares) when during brunch a very large man who was sweating profusely all over the buffet table, served himself a dish of ice cream. His teeth were the color of dead leaves and I’m not sure when the last time he bathed was. Being next in the dessert line and keeping a safe and hygienic distance, I waited my turn for some ice cream, hoping we didn’t share the same taste in ice cream flavors, and to my distinct and probably loud horror, the portly fellow served himself a generous mountain of vanilla and then gave the serving spoon a robust and complete licking and put it back in the ice cream! I stood there mouth agape and walked away trying to retain my lunch.

So let’s go back to the office, medical building or wherever the locale and let’s contemplate the communal water cooler. Am I being way to Howard Hughes like by being repelled by the thought of multiple saliva drenched water bottles rubbing against the shared molecular space with the water faucet?

Hey, I guess maybe I am just simply weird and alone in my distress. I hate newspaper print. I can’t stand grass on my bare feet. My dogs are even hypo allergenic. I sneeze into my elbow, I have baby wipes at the ready yet I lived quite happily out in the world. I’ve not yet succumbed to white cotton gloves (though I used to have a pair for the paper, thank GOD for the internet), I happily enjoy sitting at the communal tables at Manhattan Beach Post Restaurant, will taste my friends food off of their plates when so invited and kiss and hug my friends, family and some clients with abandon.

So next time when you serve yourself a cup of water ask yourself, “self, do I really want to do that?”