Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Health and hygiene are integral aspects of a tasteful social life.
After all, it takes a healthy person to wait in line patiently or practice impeccable table manners.
I do believe that good hygiene is commensurate with good health just as personal hygiene is with social grace.
Eating with unwashed hands could lead to the transfer of germs from the hand to the food which could bring about ill health when the food is ingested.
In the same vein, lack of personal hygiene could cause one’s company to choke on the unpleasant odour being exuded.
There are many aspects of our daily lives where sanitariness should be emphasized if we are to be healthy and hygienic simultaneously.
Bathroom Manners: Researchers have recently found faecal matter on toothbrushes that were permanently kept in the bathroom, a consequence of flushing the water closet with the lid up apparently.
It is therefore recommended for the hygienically-minded to cover the lid whilst flushing.
It is also advised that one should flush with the elbow if the bathroom is a public one- for obvious reasons.
I have personally learned never to judge a toilet seat by its ‘glistening’ surface; there could be more danger lurking around.
A toilet seat disinfectant spray is highly recommended after which the seat could be laid with a disposable seat cover (this is as soft as tissue and is absolutely flushable).
Another one to help-before using a toilet at all, flush it, no matter how clean it looks (you won’t go wrong if you can flush with antiseptic). It is especially recommended that ladies lay the WC with toilet paper to make it denser and avoid the water splashing up as the toilet is being used.
For Pure Hands: You may not believe that recent studies claim that a kiss is more hygienic than a handshake!
I guess this is because our hands are the parts of our body mostly in physical contact with our environment.
With our hands, we shake, hug, write, type, cook, clean, carry, bake, hold, swipe (as in gadgets), touch, massage, and eat and so on.
Since it is unavoidable to do these, it is best we have a potable sanitizer at hand especially in the absence of an antiseptic soap, water and hand drier.
If germs are ubiquitous, we can beat them to it with a good sanitizer.
For Personal Hygiene: It bears repeating that a good anti-perspirant and cologne are essential for proper hygiene.
I recently watched Cameron Diaz claim she hasn’t used an anti-perspirant in almost 20 years for health reasons.
While I laud her ‘bravery’ I will not readily recommend the same for the average person.
For one, she lives in the US where the average temperature for large cities could be between 16-21 degree Celsius.
Two, the climate is relatively temperate compared to many other parts of the world.
Three, we all don’t perspire at the same rate.
That said, anti-perspirant does have its consequences on the body and should be used only when absolutely necessary (such as every time you have company).
Note-worthy also is that nails should ideally be kept at a hygiene-minded length which is not usually very long.
Personal hygiene items such as toothbrush, bathing sponge and underwear (particularly for ladies) should be changed regularly- say every three months as these can house menacing micro organisms.
These items can however be disinfected before the period elapses with hot water and antiseptic (just hot water will suffice for the toothbrush).
A bathroom can either be useable or unuseable; there is no middle ground, or standing ground! If you can’t sit, (or at best squat) take a graceful exit.
It is better than leaving footmarks on the seat.
Gross, isn’t it?
Don’t make a mess of your manners- cleanliness is comeliness.