Cleanliness is next to Godliness : It’s also acting your age

This sticker was found in a restroom in San Francisco, Calif. ( Stephen Coles/Stewf)

David Gutman

What was the first thing that you remember when you were a child? Learning how to ride a bike? Your first day of real school? Perhaps when you were toilet trained? One may not remember being trained to use a toilet but we just do our business and get on with the day.

So I ask all of the students and faculty, why can’t we do our business without making a public bathroom an unsanitary place?

Everybody has their own personal phobias but many people have the fear of a public restroom. Urophobia is the fear and inability to go to any bathroom other than a personal one at home. Why do these people have an aversion to a public bathroom? Because public bathrooms are disgusting!

The reason most bathrooms are disgusting is because people seem to lose their sense of proper hygiene. Now I’m not obsessive-compulsive, but this in my opinion is a flaw in our culture. Day in and day out I go to the bathrooms on campus and see toilets that haven’t been flushed and people who have not washed their hands.

Ever since entering middle school, the bathrooms have progressively been getting more and more disgusting as I moved up to high school and then into college. I’ve asked myself, ‘Is it the custodian’s fault?’ ‘Has the plumbing gone bad?’ ‘ Is the soap used to wash my hands poisonous somehow?’

As I’ve gotten older and seen the human race in action I’ve noted that the only reason the bathrooms are like this is because there are both males and females that are just ignorant to cleanliness.

Sometimes I want to grab a person that I know didn’t flush a toilet after using it or didn’t wash their hands and ask them, “Do you do the same exact thing at your house?” The answer will most certainly be a big fat no. Nobody in his or her right mind will use the bathroom at their home and just let it sit there. Nor would they forget to wash up as their parent’s taught them.

I started wondering if this is just a guy problem or if both sexes are to blame. I’ve spoken to many of my friends of both gender to inquire if they’ve seen people do this when they go to a public bathroom. Apparently women are just as likely to be as unhygienic as men.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, proper hygiene in a bathroom has the potential to, “prevent at least 9.1 percent of the global disease burden and 6.3 percent of all deaths related to disease.”

Among the nasty germs and parasites spread or contracted due to improper hygiene are lice, ringworm and other fungal infections, pink eye, lymphatic filariasis (yes, friends, that’s worms), pinworms, scabies, not to mention viruses ranging from a nagging cold to hepatitis. All of these hygiene-related issues can be prevented, according to the CDC, by just a little soap and a good scrubbing of the hands under warm-to-hot running water.

So in wrapping up this little reality check I urge all of you – please flush those toilets and please wash those hands. Maybe if we can learn to act our age we can make this world a better place, or at least make the bathroom a little less grimy.

Image credit/Flickr.com

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