Wash your hands! Don't touch that!

The title of this post - it's the two things that I repeat every single day, about 200 times a day.

Yes it's true. I am a germaphobe. And I blame it on the swine flu (or if you want to be politically correct and not offend any other flu viruses, the H1N1 virus).

Don't get me wrong, I am obsessed with my kids washing their hands ALL THE TIME. But now that it's "flu season", I am even more obsessed.

I carry hand sanitizer in my purse, my diaper bag, the car. I have a tub of antibacterial wipes in my diaper bag and a smaller package in my purse (yes, I DO have a huge diaper bag and a huge purse, thanks for asking).

At Target, I wipe the cart handles, seats, sides, and well basically the ENTIRE cart with several wipes. Same thing at Wal-Mart (even though, in my opinion, Target has the most germ-infested carts of any stores. Gross. Wal-Mart is a very close second!). Same deal at the grocery store -- or any other store that has carts. You might as well put your kids in a hazmat suit before sitting them in any carts.

And then, on any shopping trip I repeat this phrase "Don't touch that!" over and over and over again. And I clean their hands with an antibacterial wipe as soon as we get in the car.

Yes, I'm a bit obsessed, but whatever.

And hand washing? Oh geez...my kids probably think I'm crazy. I make them sing their 'ABCs' while washing (OK, so I sing it for Emma, but she says some of the letters with me). I actually had two school teachers stop me at a public restroom and THANK ME for teaching my kids (and my niece who was with us) to wash their hands while singing that song.

I can't help it. I would like to avoid the piggy flu this season. I'd also like to avoid the 'regular' flu, stomach viruses, bronchitis and the common cold. While I'm sure it's not possible to avoid all those, I'm doing my best to avoid swine flu. And it's making me a wee bit obsessed with germs.

I blame it on the news. Our local news more than anything else. One channel in particular. (13ABC you know I'm talking about you). Every night they have their "swine flu central" update and give all these stats and stories and BREAKING NEWS! about the swine flu. It's making me a little crazy.

But I did have my kids vaccinated against the 'regular' flu (as I have done every year since they were old enough to get the vaccine). I am getting a 'regular' flu vaccine (as I have done every year for the past 6 years). And Olivia's school will be doing a 'swine flu clinic' once that vaccine is available and she WILL be getting that vaccine too. And I'm hoping Emma will be able to get it. And then I hope that Kevin and I can get it too. Heck, if my dogs and cat could get the vaccine, I'd probably get it for them too. (Kidding. Sort of.)

Now I know that no one can totally avoid germs (well, unless you live in a bubble -- and I'm not willing to do that). But I am trying to my part to avoid germs by doing those little things that all the 'talking heads' on the news are telling us to do: washing your hands being the most important.

And I know that I'm not the only one obsessing about this. When the words "swine flu" were mentioned at the PTA meeting this week, every parent in the room suddenly 'woke up' from the meeting-induced stupor and everyone was "What? Swine flu? Is it here...in THIS school?!?!?" The principal assured us that NO it was not in our school and if it did show up we would know ASAP. And he told us that every classroom has several bottles of hand sanitizer for the students to use.


Germs know this: I will take you down. I'm armed with Lysol and I'm not afraid to use it.


  1. I just talked to the germs out there: they know you're serious. ;)

    Ugh, you know - I'm a waffler. I can go either way. When I first moved to Mexico, I was never more than 5 inches from a bottle of hand-sanitizer. Then, I just sort of stopped and went with the flow of things. (And never got sick, mind you.) I understand the importance of being exposed to various germs and bacterias, thus building up your resistance.

    Now, with a 3-month-old and with several known cases of H1N1 in my very small community and ONE person who was infected at my OFFICE - I'm taking a few more precautions.

    In all honesty, it's a slippery slope. It's ONE thing to be cautious. It's quite another to not leave your home for fear of illness.

    As far as Channel 13 doing their, "Swine Flu Central" update - that's ridiculous. Get a life. And for the LOVE - it is NOT FROM PIGS.

    Kills me.

    (P.S. Good for you for wiping down carts/etc. I do the EXACT same thing.)

    Also - I realize that H1N1 is a new concern, so it's EVERYWHERE. But thousands of people die from the regular 'ole winter-time flu every year; many more than what will die from H1N1...

  2. Ky: yep, you're right. it is one thing to be cautious and another to plan on staying indoors until May 2010.

    i've never been afraid of the regular flu...and i'm not really panic striken over this...i think i'm just more aware of things like GERMS. :)

    and, i do blame the media (in all seriousness) for the fear that people have of H1N1 - they are creating this sense of fear and panic in people. last night, 13ABC's 'breaking news' was about a young woman who died of pneumonia in combo w/ H1N1 (she was a former resident of the area who lived in Oxford, OH).

    while that IS tragic and horrible, i don't think it needed to be filed under "breaking news". that is not responsible reporting. they aren't going to report on everyone who might die from the 'regular' flu (and they never have) so why create this sense of panic?

  3. I think that PSAs are a good thing, but I don't like the "scare tactics" some are using.

    Right now, I am washing my hands as much as I can and then using hand sanitizer because I had to touch the handle because there are no towels (only blow dryers) at work.

    Is this nuts? I don't think so.

  4. This tip could help: My child came home from school the other day saying that they learned to cough and sneeze into their elbow with Germy Wormie, and I was totally taken aback. I always covered with my hands. But I went to the website and now I get it, hands touch, elbows don't!! Kids can touch 300 surfaces in 1/2 hour and they hate to wash their hands. This is a simple thing that can make a huge difference.

  5. @MaggieBrown: yep, my kids learned that @ daycare last year and the stress in it my DD's kindergarten class too.

  6. I only use hand sanitizer when we are not able to wash our hands. I DRILL into my kids heads to WASH WASH WASH your hands. I tell them 100 x's a day. I also tell them to cough and sneeze into their elbows! Kids are walking petri dishes!!