To wash, or not to wash?

Ok, this is one that my wife and I have a mild disagreement over.  When is it okay to NOT wash your hands after using the bathroom?  I know, everyone’s quick answer is “Never,” but hear me out…

Before we start, I’d like to say that I’m NOT a germaphobe.  However being married to an RN has introduced me to levels of cleanliness I didn’t know existed.  This had the side effect of making me hyper-aware of germ-laden venues.  For example, it’s great that the kids making my sandwich at the sandwich shop wear plastic gloves to keep my sandwich clean.  Next time you get a sandwich, watch them.  They touch your sandwich, the cash register, and just about everything else with those gloves, then go back and make another sandwich.  Come on, what’s the point?  But I’m off topic (again), back to bathrooms…

Bathroom’s are filthy, disgusting places.  Even if they look clean and sparkling, they’re covered in things you don’t even want to know about.  Seriously.  If you flush the toilet with the lid up (or, like most public bathrooms that don’t have a lid), you’re literally spraying feces bacterias all over the place.  It’s gross.  If you touch ANYTHING in a public restroom (flush handle, SINK FAUCET HANDLE, door handle, paper towel release handle thingy) congratulations, you have someone else’s poop on you.

Now obviously 99% of the time you’re going to want to wash your hands after you use a restroom.  If you really care about it, you’re going to use the paper towel with which you dried your hands to turn off the faucet (remember, you and everyone else turned it on with your filthy germ covered hands) and use that same paper towel to open the door.  Otherwise you have literally negated all the benefits of washing your hands anyway.

But what if you could get in and out without touching ANYTHING.  This one’s more for guys.  Ladies, you definitely have it tougher than us, which is why your bathrooms are fancier, with nice wallpaper, flowers, incense burning, couches to rest while you wait, etc.  I’ve never been in one, but I assume they all look like this:

ladies bathroom.
The men’s room most often looks like this:

mens bathroom
Some bathroom’s (like in parks, airports, and sports arenas,) have no doors, just a short hallway to enter.  What if I can walk in, use the urinal, and walk out without coming into contact with anything in the bathroom.  We’ll assume, for the sake of argument, that I managed not to urinate on myself.  We’ll also assume that I showered, and all the parts of my body are clean.  So here’s the question:

Do I wash my hands, or do I walk right out?  If I touch the sink faucet I’m immediately worse off.  My opinion is that the more hygienic move is to leave without touching anything.

These are the thoughts and mysteries that rattle around in my head.  It’s a weird place.  Sound off in the comments if you agree, disagree, or have other ideas.

As always, you’re welcome.

Living the Dream,
Humble Dave

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