I don’t normally participate in Twitter polls, but this one hooked me and made me think about something I never thought about before:
“When you take a shower/bath, which body part do you wash first?”
I worked my way mentally across my body from head to toe, visualizing how I normally shower when it hit me there is only one correct answer, for all of us: our hands.
One of the fundamental changes the COVID-19 crisis will have on the way we think about our world is the role our personal hygiene plays protecting ourselves -- and others -- in an era of pandemics.
It’s one of the few things we can do to take some personal control to combat microbial pathogens -- whether they are global pandemic-level ones, or even common flus or colds -- so in the long run, it may actually make us healthier, reducing sickness, medical costs and even deaths.
That’s one of the benefits of what Bill Gates has been calling “Pandemic 1,” and it will help prepare us for “Pandemic 2,” whatever that proves to be.
There is already evidence that Americans have begun changing the way they feel and think about the role of the healthcare system, as well as their personal responsibility, in combating infectious disease.
“As life continues to be upended by COVID-19, Americans are learning the importance of a strong healthcare system,” Mindshare USA analysts write in the agency’s latest edition -- Wave 8 -- of its COVID-19 tracking study, concluding, “Behaviors related to hygiene, health, environment and saving money will likely remain.”
Just like other mega crises transformed previous generations’ psyches -- The Great Depression, World War II, 9/11, etc. -- this one will fundamentally alter the way people think, feel and behave for some time to come.
Think about that the next time you shower.