Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Germs? No problem!

Most daily BART commuters are like me- you try not to touch too many things on BART: the poles, the seat handles, the escalator handles...etc. If you have to touch it, most of us wash our hands immediately once we get into the office, or if you're like me, you carry a bottle of Purell to quickly destroy the germs, and then you follow-up with a thorough rinse once you get to the office.

It always amazes me that there are some people on BART who could care less about germs. Last night, I saw a man (not homeless) lie down on the BART train floors. That wasn't the first time I've seen someone sleep on the train floors. I've also seen people flatten their bodies against the dirty carpet and use their computer bag as a pillow. This morning, I saw a group of passengers come in and just sat down on the ground in a circle. Other times, I've seen people sit down against the door, and start eating their breakfast. I've also watched people play cards while sitting on the stain-filled train carpet.

It makes me cringe to see them pasting their clothes and skin on the floors. But hey, if they're fine with it, why should I worry?

The closest I've ever come to sitting on the train floors is this one time when I was sick with a flu, nauseous, and I literally could not keep myself standing. I didn't sit on the floor but I did bend my knees so I'm squatting. I kept my head down so I wouldn't puke on anyone. I squatted for about 10 was a pretty low point in my years of BART riding. But even then, sitting down on the floor is NOT an option.


Anonymous said...

Lol, like the seats are any cleaner. Or the support handles; they often feel kind of greasy, occasionally sticky. Eww. Oh well, that's what soap and water are for.

What I can't believe is the people who don't keep their hands away from their faces after touching all that stuff. You see them chin in hand, touching their lips. Bleahhh! If they aren't getting the BART germs in their mouths, they're getting their own germs on their hands and will spread them to the next thing they grab hold of. Thanks loads.

bartmusings said...

Yeah, you're right, the seats are pretty heinous too. I generally throw my clothes in the washer immediately when I get home.

You know what else is nasty? When you see someone let out a big sneeze, cover their nose and mouth with their hands, and then use those very hands to grab onto the safety pole right next to your hand. Oh gosh! That is why I do not even want to lay my fingers on that pole!

Anonymous said...

I have pasted the following report below for those who want to know more about germs in public places. Hope this will help some people to be more careful or to be more considerate to other people.

"SAN FRANCISCO - Hotel guests leave behind more than just socks and old paperbacks: A new study found viruses on TV remotes, light switches and even hotel pens after cold sufferers checked out.

The germ testing was done before the rooms were cleaned, so it likely overstates the risks that most travelers would face. Nevertheless, it shows the potential hazards if a hotel’s turnaround amounts to little more than changing the sheets and wiping out the tub.

“You sure hope the cleaning people were good,” said Dr. Owen Hendley, the University of Virginia pediatrician who presented results of the study Friday at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Besides hotel hazards, the findings point out things that people may not think to clean in their homes when someone has a cold.

“We know that viruses can survive on surfaces for a long time — more than four days,” said Dr. Birgit Winther, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the university who led the study.

Its aim was to test the survival of rhinoviruses, which cause about half of all colds, especially in children.

Researchers had 15 people with lab-confirmed rhinovirus colds spend a night in individual rooms at a nearby hotel and, after they checked out, tested 10 items they said they had touched. About one-third of the objects were contaminated with rhinovirus.

“We were surprised to find so many,” Winther said.

Virus was found on 7 out of 14 door handles and 6 of 14 pens. Six out of 15 light switches, TV remotes and faucets tested positive, as did 5 of 15 phones. Shower curtains, coffee makers and alarm clocks also harbored viruses.

Surprisingly, virus turned up on only one of the 10 toilet handles tested.

Experts did not test items like bedspreads because cloth dries out germs, making them far less likely to survive than they do on smooth or moist surfaces."

Anonymous said...

You're a ninny. If you preclude yourself from exposure to all germs your body will have no defense when you are inevitably exposed.

It's like eating Mexican food. It's also suspected of being a cause behind allergies. Which explains why most people who have allergies are ninnies.

Anonymous said...

Your comments made me think of a Flickr picture I saw today showing the Singapore system and how CLEAN it is: