Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit us, we are now more aware of germs than ever before. According to Kristine Arthur, MD, an internist at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, the more things you touch every day, the higher the risk to pick up bacteria and viruses is.
While it is nice to share stuff, it isn’t as nice to share germs. At the same time, it’s inevitable to transfer some germs and bacteria, especially if you live with other people.
Even so, we should try to stay as healthy as possible and limit the spread. If you want to take care of your friends or family and keep them away from unwanted bacteria, make sure you don’t share any of these items with them:
Did you know that the clipboard pen is by far one of the filthiest items in any doctor’s office? Ever since the pandemic started, some doctors have decided to separate their pens into “dirty” and “clean” cups, in order to try to limit the spread of germs.
Research has found that a clipboard pen has over 46,000 times more germs than any other average toilet seat. WOW!
According to Dr. Arthur, everyone is touching those pens, so if you’re in a place where there are sick people, it is very likely to have bacteria or viruses on those pens. The best thing to do is to carry your own pen.
While taking a bite from someone else’s fries might not seem like a big deal, it is. You might even be in the same household as the ones you’re stealing fries from, but experts believe you should never touch their food.
As Jolene Caufield, Senior Advisor at Healthy Howard has said, food is shared A LOT among people these days, especially if it’s a small gathering.
But at the same time, it’s also the easiest way to transfer saliva to another person, which makes them susceptible to catching whatever you might have, especially if you’re asymptomatic. Instead of grabbing a bite from someone else’s dish, get your own small sample.
Some fast-food restaurants are also open for dine-in services. If you want to go out and eat at one of these locations, remember to be cautious when it comes to sharing with others.
Once they say your number and your cheeseburger and fries are ready, you might want to rush into grabbing a tray and chow down. Make sure you don’t put your food on them, as those trays are used by literally EVERYONE, and they’re usually wiped down only with a cloth and aren’t thoroughly cleaned with hot water and soap.
Each fast-food chain has its own sanitizing protocols, so check with the staff to see how their trays are sanitized.
Makeup & makeup brushes
While it’s tempting to share your makeup with some of your friends or family, it can get you sick. You probably didn’t know this, but makeup containers oftentimes invite bacteria to grow.
If you also count sharing makeup with a friend or family members, you’re only making it more probable to transfer viruses over, according to Julia Blank, MD, a family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
Sharing eye makeup, for example, can result in conjunctivitis, while sharing lip products can make you susceptible to mono, strep, and herpes.
The best thing you can do is replace your cosmetics frequently and never borrow anything such as liquid eyeliner, mascara, or even lipstick.
Your loved one has chapped lips, and they know you always have what they need in that magical purse of yours. If they ask you, how could you say no?
Even if it might be a bit difficult, it’s not a good idea to share your lip balm with others. By sharing it, you’re basically more at risk of contracting and spreading germs.
It doesn’t require a genius to realize that you should never share something that has touched your mouth. Saliva droplets can easily fall on your lips when you talk. You put your lip balm on them and then you share it, it’s like a free invitation to your germs, and vice-versa!
While it might not make sense at first, it’s best not to share a cellphone or a landline phone with others. Phones come very close to your face and mouth, which is a reason why your phone screen is WAY dirtier than you could ever imagine.
If sharing is absolutely mandatory, try putting your phone on speaker, so no one touches it with their faces.
Who would’ve thought that you need to sanitize a phone charger before borrowing it from someone? I personally don’t know anyone who would ever sanitize them before using them.
Plus, not everyone knows how to sanitize a phone charger. That’s why electronic devices should be kept personal as much as possible.
The pandemic has changed everything we ever knew about how we work. Some companies have their employees work from home, that’s why there are more and more work-from-home stations.
If you live with someone who works from home or if you are in this situation, you might want to avoid sharing your space. Viruses and bacteria are easily spreadable in a shared home office, especially when you’re sharing office supplies.
Try to separate things as much as possible. And if you don’t have the needed space to set up two or more home offices, at least make sure you sanitize your space as often as possible.
While borrowing your headsets doesn’t seem like a big deal, you should try not to do it anymore. If you’re rushing to go out and your headset just got broken, you might be tempted to take them from a family member.
Well, don’t! You shouldn’t share your headsets with anyone else, nor take them from someone! Why? While earwax is all-natural ear protection, earphones collect that once-innocent bacteria in the wax.
And any wax building up on your earphones might also grow bacteria, which can only lead to infections. Even more, sharing your headsets can easily spread viruses to others.
As we said before, the pandemic changed a lot of things for us, including the way we exercise. Many of us started working out at home and have decided to buy at-home gear to keep up with a casual exercise routine.
While it’s great for your physical health to have an at-home workout space, it could harm your overall health, especially if you’re sharing your gear with others.
If your home weights are used by multiple people in your home, this means that there are lots of germs on them. If you don’t clean them correctly after every workout, you might be at risk of getting germs and spreading them.
You’ve definitely had a clue that towels are spreading bacteria. Given the fact that they’re damp and absorb quickly, you should never share your towel with anyone else.
Some bacteria can survive for hours when it comes to wet surfaces. Even more, fungus LOVES damp towels. What makes things even worse is that people don’t know how to wash their hands correctly as well, according to Dr. Blank, which leaves bacteria and viruses on the skin.
These germs transfer easily to hand towels and then to the next person who dries their hands. If you have the possibility, opt for fancy hand towels. They’re safer.
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