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Some things should go without saying. Yet, those same things are often stressed to extreme measures and still ignored.

I heard a sermon once about the disadvantages equated with touching your face. Sadly, I don’t remember much more from the sermon other than it spreads germs and isn’t healthy.

I do recall an awareness for how often I touch my nose, rub my eyes or stick my fingers in my mouth during the course of the day. It’s a lot. A short time after that my awareness went away and I continued spreading germs from my hands to my face on what I’m sure was very frequent intervals.

The newest social craze sweeping through the world is the idea of washing your hands on a regular basis. What a concept! They should start teaching that in school. Maybe even as early as kindergarten. Perhaps even in preschool and daycares before that.

The previous lack of hand washing fits the narrative that people are only going to learn what they want to learn. After that, they only learn what they have to learn or are forced to learn.

It’s disheartening that people are having to be taught how to wash their hands. They should’ve learned that as soon as their mechanical skills were apt enough to make mud pies.

Anyone who wasn’t taught to wash their hands at a very young age needs to slap the people who were responsible for teaching them early life skills. But then that would involve a germ-infested hand coming in contact with a germ-susceptible face which would defeat the purpose of maintaining personal hygiene at a high level.

I give a lot of credit to the people who were washing their hands consistently before it was considered a growing trend.

Then there are the people with utter disregard for all things sanitary. I’ll admit that I’ve fallen into this category on more occasions than I want to admit. Several different types are noteworthy.

Suspect No. 1 is someone that we’ve all noticed and if you haven’t seen this person then you aren’t paying attention. They come out of the bathroom stall and walk straight to the door without giving any glance toward the sink. Maybe they look in the mirror and check their hair before exiting. Perhaps they see the line at the sink or the fact that it is occupied by another person and that’s enough reason to simply leave.

I was in a restroom at the Target in Branson, Mo. when I observed a pair of boys enter the facility. The first boy finished his business and exited without washing his hands. The other boy then followed after him yelling, “Mom! Billy didn’t wash his hands!”

Both boys returned and washed their hands while having a sibling dispute amongst themselves that probably carried into the toy isle afterward.

Then there is suspect No. 2. This is the person who walks toward the sink, runs water over their hands for less than a full second and then spends as much time with the paper towel drying them off before wiping their hands on their pants as they head back to the restaurant or other destination. These people are often converted from suspect No. 1 status because there was another person in the bathroom who might’ve formed an opinion if no action was taken.

Despite their half-hearted attempt at cleaning, all they did was get their germs wet.

Enter suspect No. 3. The hand sanitizer aficionado. They are constantly smothering their hands in ethyl alcohol as an antiseptic at a 99.9 percent rate of effectiveness.

Both aforementioned suspects can easily fall into this category as well.

While this is an effective method of decontaminating, your hands are left covered with dead germs and mortified bacteria.

The things that sanitizers don’t kill are scary enough that we should adamantly use soap and water as often as possible.

Clostridium difficile colitis is a bacteria that can be transported by spores which causes inflammation of the colon. It is a common enough infection that the hospitals have posters in the bathroom mentioning it by name. The symptoms are less than desirable. It also doesn’t die from Purell or Germ-X. It has to be physically removed from the body by washing.

So be like suspect No. 4 who lives by the mantra in the song “So Fresh, So Clean” by OutKast.

Sadly, I am all suspects at different intervals in my life. However, admitting the problem is the first step to making it better and especially cleaner.

They say that vigorously washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is enough to kill all the germs. You can say your ABC’s in that amount of time which might be a decent habit to start. The Lord’s Prayer can be recited in around 20 seconds as long as you don’t try to say it as fast as the kids who pray it after a basketball game. If nothing else, try counting the floor tiles.

Do your part. Stay clean, wash your hands and please stop hoarding all the toilet paper.

Rodney Beaver is a sports writer with the Harrison Daily Times. E-mail him at rodneyb@harrisondaily.com or follow him at twitter.com/rodneybeaver .

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