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{17/11/2012}   Possibly a bit germ OCD

Having dysentery and a cold has made me a bit obsessive compulsive about cleanliness.  I always knew I had the potential but it is alarming to sometimes see myself poised to squirt things with antibacterial gel on the off chance there may be germs.  Over the past week, despite the fact it’s me who’s had germs, I have found myself scowling ferociously in the direction of sniffs and coughs in trains and in offices.  I even had someone looming over me telling me they were feeling a bit peaky, having been around someone with diarrhea and vomiting, and I recoiled – nothing subtle about my reaction but, seriously, don’t tell me that when you know I’m still delicate from dysentery.  The spread of germs is not something you should ever really contemplate if you’re prone to mild (or severe, ie proper) OCD.

The germ carrier that has always most repulsed me is grab-poles/rails on buses and in trains and tubes.  I feel myself recoil when I grab a pole in a tube and I can feel it’s warm and ever so slightly greasy.  *shudder*  For as long as I can remember I have always raised my index finger off such grabables in the hope of having a germ free digit with which to rub my eye, etc.  I get really annoyed at the hot desk office I often work in because none of the work stations, particularly the keyboard, are ever cleaned.  It’s revolting.  And then I eat sandwiches.  It’s just gross and, like I said, probably best not to think about it otherwise I would consider wearing latex gloves everywhere I go!

But on a less extreme note, I appreciate that I am now on heightened germ alert.  It is good to carry antibacterial gel around.  For example, having been on a tube of the sweaty pole variety yesterday morning, I went for coffee and a croissant.  My hands felt dirty and where I was sitting was an outside area by a mobile cafe so no wash basin.  It was nice to be able to eat my food feeling I wasn’t covered in other people’s yuck.  Oh dear, it does actually sound a bit OCD.  I never used to think twice about things like that.

I once caught flu which developed into pleurisy and pneumonitis, which was initially thought to be TB.  I was really ill for a few months.  I asked the doctor where I could have got it, as I hadn’t known anyone else to have it, and he asked about my daily commute and work.  At that time I was getting buses everywhere and on mention of daily bus journeys, he gave me an, “Oh, that’ll be where”, look.  Gross, though it makes sense.  I hate that on a lot of public transport it’s not possible to open windows, and in winter if you do someone will complain that it’s cold.  But public transport is always warm and you can almost feel the germs floating around.  Oh very dear, I really am getting a bit OTT about all this!

I hope I will be less ready with the antibacterial gel soon, particularly as it’s drying my hands out!  But I suppose it’s all sort of a good lesson in being a bit more aware of how easy it is to both spread and catch germs, even if they are only cold germs (the latter I blame on a girl two seats from me on the plane last week who kept spraying out sneeze globules and the man behind who I’m sure sneezed on the side of my face through the gap in the chairs)

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