A new view on hygiene

Following the gradual easing of lockdown Chloe Buchan tells us how our view of cleanliness and Hygiene may be effected coming out of lockdown.

Chloe Buchan
24th May 2021
For well over a year now we have been living in this new normality; words like coronavirus, isolation, pandemic, and social distancing have become well-used elements of our vocabulary, and we have become well-accustomed to social distancing and wearing masks; above all, clubbing seems like a distant memory and hugging friends feels illegal.

As restrictions lift and places begin to open, I know I am not alone in feeling slightly nervous for life returning to normal- although lockdown was hard and a completely unprecedented experience, it became something of a comfort blanket. When everyone is in the same boat, there is no fear of missing out, and so I found it to be a good opportunity to work on myself and be entirely selfish.

There are quite a few lessons I have learnt about wellbeing and selfcare that I will be taking with me as the world gets back to normal: exercise is the best remedy for a down day, long walks with a podcast are actually medicinal, the rest is just as important as the work, and eating well can transform your outlook on life (sounds dramatic but it’s true- trust me!)

The pandemic has definitely highlighted many ‘normal’ things we used to do that in hindsight are actually quite disgusting

When it comes to hygiene, what has changed? What habits will we be keeping with us even as life gets back to normality? The pandemic has definitely highlighted many ‘normal’ things we used to do that in hindsight are actually quite disgusting: blowing out birthday candles and showering a cake with saliva, to then hand a slice to everyone in the room; inserting fingers into bowling balls to then have snacks and lick sauce off of our fingers; locking lips with a stranger on the dance floor of a club; and taking gulps of water straight from the water fountain along with the other 160 people in the gym.

Aside from these obvious ones, there are definitely some other hygiene habits that will be staying with us. I am much more conscious about hygiene when it comes to other people. I am a culprit of championing the ‘sharing is caring’ motto at events and clubs, offering my drink to all my friends (and sometimes strangers) and not batting an eyelid at the potential for spreading germs. Needless to say, from now on I will be undoubtedly keeping my drink to myself. Another habit that I will keep with me is the consistent hand-washing; I have always washed my hands when coming into my house and so washing my hands a lot didn’t feel like too much of a foreign concept. What did feel foreign was washing my hands for twenty seconds- it sounds naïve, but I used to do a quick scrub and get on with my day, rather than going through a ‘happy birthday twice’ rigmarole. However, this is now so ingrained into me that I automatically start to count as soon as my hands touch the water, and definitely a habit I am unlikely to forget.

Aside from these obvious ones, there are definitely some other hygiene habits that will be staying with us. I am much more conscious about hygiene when it comes to other people.

As we enter back into a world of normality, I doubt I am alone in thinking that with excitement comes caution, and although I can’t wait to get back on the dance floor, I will do all I can to ensure I do it with minimal risk.

Feature Image credit: Pixabay @Ivabalk

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