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The Epidemic of Non-Handwashers

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

To wash hands, or not to wash hands—that is the question. I was unaware of the abundance of non-handwashers until coming to college this year. With the onset of communal bathroom use—which I am so fond of—I grew observant of people’s uncleanly habits. I was quite shocked to debunk the myth that only boys do not wash their hands; seemingly, many girls don’t either.

As far back as I can recollect, I have been instructed to wash my hands with soap and water. Back in my kindergarten days, I remember posters on the bathroom walls reminding us to wash our hands. Years later at university, those posters remain. Despite college students possessing (supposedly) greater intelligence than kindergarteners, my fellow peers yet still refuse to wash.

As an esteemed germaphobe, communal bathrooms are already a nightmare. Thus, when I catch someone willingly stroll out of the bathroom without washing their hands, naturally, my insides go berserk. Are they just lazy? Did they forget? Were they lured into some anti-handwashing cult that I just did not know about? What is so repellent about washing your hands? Whatever the case may be, respectfully, I will not be sharing my fries with you.

Honestly, I was a bit hesitant in writing this article. Handwashing seems to have established controversy, but what hasn’t these days? Even so, if this article offends you, then maybe that’s a sign to start washing your goddamn hands. You would think—in a day and age when handwashing is so accessible in a first-world country like the U.S., people would take more advantage of such a privilege. You would think. Though, that seems not to be the case in America: land of the free, and home of the 42% of Americans who do not wash their hands with soap and water. Lovely.

Truth be told, I do not consider myself a particularly ‘political’ person, but if I were to advocate for anything, it’s handwashing. Having said that, here are five reasons why you should always wash your hands:

  1. Handwashing prevents illness, for yourself and for others.
  2. 3 billion people worldwide lack access to a proper handwashing facility at home. Consider the privilege it is to have access to soap and clean water; take advantage of your resources.
  3. To preserve my diminishing sanity.
  4. I may reconsider sharing my fries with you.
  5. And lastly, because Uncle Sam says so.

When push comes to shove, courteously, wash on.

Isabella

**Edited by Beth Dawkins

Hello! My name is Isabella and I am a first-year at the University of Vermont. I enjoy eating everything bagels, attending cycling classes, and doing crossword puzzles!
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