The Art of Washing Your Hands . . .

There’s more to washing your hands than soap and water

A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames
12 min readMay 27, 2020


The Art of Washing Your Hands . . . There’s more to washing your hands than soap and water

I work at the NHS and just by working there, washing my hands isn’t an option. Washing my hands is something I do which could possible save my life. I work with blood samples from patients and it isn’t uncommon for me to handle COVID 19 positive samples two or three or even four times or more a day.

Before this though, I served in theatre in Iraq in 2005. We had a Staphylococcal outbreak. Many people were affected and had to be hospitalized which isn’t a good thing when you’re in a war zone.

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People didn’t take the outbreak seriously because after all, we’re facing an enemy we can see who’s trying to kill us. We don’t have time for a germ. Hand washing stations were put up everywhere and hand gel was supplied to all the troops, but still, the outbreaks weren’t slowing down. Time to bring in the Marines.

Well-armed Marines with their weapons “locked and loaded” were positioned at all chow hall entrances and at all the toilet facilities. Yes it sounds silly but sometimes force is needed. The rate of staph infections dropped considerable.

So I know a little about personal hygiene in the medical sense, I’m no doctor though but do you really need to be a doctor to practice common sense?

What is hygiene?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Hygiene refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases.” Hygiene is a loaded term though, many people equate hygiene with cleanliness.

The term hygiene is a broad term which includes such personal habit choices as how frequently you take a shower or bath, or how often you wash your hands, trim your fingernails (and toe nails), and wash your clothes. Hygiene also entails attention to keeping surfaces in your home and workplace…



A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames

ElbyJames is an American disabled combat vet exiled in the UK & a free speech absolutist. He’s an occasional Top Writer