Scant days ago, while paying a visit to a supermarket’s public restroom… shared by patrons and employees, alike… I could not miss seeing an above the sink sign where management was reminding the workers to wash their hands.
I found that message reassuring, yet, unsettling.
Seeing how the youngest worker would be 16 years of age and how anyone above the age of 3 should know better, I wondered how, all the sudden, society had become so ill-informed about hygiene… so unwashed! I mean, who can catch even a mere glimpse of what we flush and not want to, immediately, rush over to the sink to scrub up?
Yet, there was that sign.
A bit of background info… we’re talking about a high tech, hands free restroom… i.e., auto-flush everything, sinks with sensors to start the flow of hot water, sensors to get the hand driers whooshing away. The whole kit and kaboodle has been specifically designed with public wellness in mind!
Well, it was while washing and drying my own hands that I became awash with unfond memories of one of my earliest employers… a retail store manager (let’s call her Dee). Just to impress her District Manager and other higher-ups… she had decided to slash overhead. To that end, she not only shut down our lavatory’s hot water heater, but also eliminated soap from all future orders of supplies.
What stunned me the most was how that corporate ladder climber was actually expecting to earn company bean counter brownie points by doing what? Scrimping and saving on soap? Mind you… SOAP… a product that the average consumer can pay for with pocket change!
While hierarchically speaking, I resided at the bottom of the food chain, nevertheless, I did tactfully remind Dee that both hot water and soap are the best defenses against disease… even mentioning diarrhea in passing. That’s when the within earshot, horrified assistant manager chimed in, “Oh gawd no… NOT THAT!” Even with her unsolicited assist, neither of us could win our boss over to our side… get her to reclaim sanitation and sanity. Well, we tried.
I would now need to take matters into my own hands. In the interest of public health, this man who, at the time, was earning a paltry, $2.65 per hour, had decided to regularly donate soap to the store (just one link in a chain of 286 stores ringing up $206 million in sales).
Upon the arrival of the cold and flu season, I reminded myself that Dee’s cold water issue could still be an ally to illness. While my new MO would not help my co-workers, on my meal breaks, I opted to use the mall restaurants’ restrooms, where, at least, those managers still offered hot running water and freely flowing soap. They had to. Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services still cared enough to shut down any eatery’s proprietor, who harbored a crappy attitude.
My main point back then and back in the here and now, too…
With increasing and alarming frequency, the bugs that presently plague humankind are getting more and more resistant to the existing arsenal of conventional, antimicrobial drugs. It is not being an alarmist to warn that today’s reportage mulling over the COVID19 / coronavirus epidemic, could easily pale in comparison to our not too distant future news. Those likely someday stories will tell us about germs that’ll be fully capable of reducing the human race to endangered species status… perhaps even driving us to the point of extinction.
Fact of life, viruses and bacteria owe their very existence to bad hygiene practices… starting with humans’ far too lax lavatory attitudes. They also owe their survival to “our” science denying, foolhardy, bean counter, dirty “leaders”.
To put a face on that problem… Donald Trump has secured tax cuts for his obscenely wealthy cronies, while severely slashing funding that’d be better allocated for public health matters. Check out Donny’s proposed 2020, unhealthy budget…
A 12% cut to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and a 10% cut for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Folks, that’s a $750 million spending cut over fiscal year 2019. That’s (figuratively and literally) sickening!
Indeed… my ex boss, Dee, had… likely still has… a lot in common with Donny.
Indeed… Donny needs to become an ex boss, too.