Top Habits of Germophobes

habits of germophobesHabits of Germophobes – why on earth am I writing about that? Well, sometimes posts have strange inspirations. This weekend I came back from the Indian store with a packet of desi yogurt and before putting it in the fridge, was horrified to see an unclaimed booger or nose crusty stuck to the side of the plastic container. I was, in American slanglish, ‘grossed out’. But then I had just spent money on the yogurt, and it was after all a hard plastic container, so I let out a mental ‘ewwww’ before picking up a clorox wipe and wiping the offending substance of the container, and then furiously rubbing  the container first with the wipe and then a damp paper towel (to now remove the chemicals from the wipe). But everytime I take a helping of the yogurt, I am still ‘grossed out’.

So that begets the question – am I a germophobe?

I dont think you can grow up in India as a germophobe, so I dont think I started out as one. But the US is in many ways an antiseptic society. Grocery store chicken breasts, pink, plump and clean in a container sealed with plastic wrap protect you from the guilt of seeing a poor chicken hanging up side down at the meat store or worse still being crammed into cages with many others destined for dinners. Bathrooms have soaps and towels (mostly). And of course, there is so much less dust.

So in this relatively cleaner environment, I started adopting germophobic ways. They started when I was working and grew exponentially with my first baby, tapering off a little after the second was one. Some habits I dreamed up on my own and everytime I would see someone with a germophobic habit, I would adopt it as my own. Anything that kept my family away from germs made me feel a little bit closer to supermom, brandishing sanitiser and wipes.

Over the years these are some top habits of germophobes I have heard. Any of these sound familiar? Add your own, or habits you have heard. So germophobes…

  1. Use your foot to flush public toilets. Enough said.
  2. Use straws for all drinks so that your mouth does not touch a glass. Who knows where the glass might have been kept upside down in the back kitchen.
  3. When taking silverware out of your napkin at restaurants, ask for another napkin or plate to keep them till you get your plate. When is the last time that table was wiped with a clean cloth.
  4. Stash sanitizers at all possible locations in your house – garage, car, kitchen, toy room, bathroom, closet. Just so that you are never very far from one.
  5. Wipe high chairs, table tops, that bar under the table the kids kick – every potential surface that can carry a germ or two that can slide onto your babe
  6. Carry wipes in your purse to wipe grimy hands, toys, surfaces the kids and you play with
  7. Wipe spoons, forks, and silverware with your napkin before it touches your food
  8. Never sit on a public toilet seat
  9. Use a paper towel to open the door of a public restroom after washing hands (recommended by the CDC by the way)
  10. Wipe shopping cart handles with antibacterial wipes (from your purse, if the store does not have it) before use

Any of these sound familiar? What are some of the habits you have seen or heard?habits of germophobes

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  1. Munny

    Opening bathroom doors with elbows, punching elevator buttons with knuckles, carrying wet wipes to disinfect ATM’s and not touching magazines in waiting rooms. Being armed with Purell and / or using it on an hourly basis.
    Even mild germophobia ( if there is such a term) makes one vulnerable to this vast new industry designed to capitalize on fears and selling antimicrobial products. In most cases a human body has enough resistance to ward off diseases caused by germs. When you remove all bacteria (germs) from your hands and environment you make it easier to catch germs in other locations because the body is stripped of some of the tools it uses to help itself.
    I think marketers play on a false sense of security and I think playing on a false sense of security is worse than a true sense of insecurity.

  2. Shahana

    Hilarious. I definitely identify with many items on the list, especially the public bathroom-related ones! Here are some more from me – never sitting / lying down on the top cover of a hotel bed turning off the air above my seat in airplanes as soon as I get on, not touching escalator or stair handrails, and never getting in my bed in “outside” clothes.

  3. Ana

    So true, I am always following whatever is on that list, but I don’t consider myself germophobic. I also ask in the restaurants where silverware is “sticky” for a cup of hot water and dip my silverware in it and always look inside cups for any surprizes. I also inhale aromatherapy oils that kill germs, especially on the plane or in crowds or use ready made inhalers like GermBullet. If you’re a germophobe, you should really check out that one.

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