Who say toilet talk gets you nowhere?

Yesterday, I was treated to a nice surprise thanks in part to the previous post on this blog: “We Stamp Out Germs for Thee.”

April Foreman

My colleague and fantastic psychologist, April Foreman, decided to take the washroom reality that I described and assessed it from a social psychology perspective.  Her post is a great read, speaks true to her voice and quite honestly brings a novel idea to the whole problem of hygiene in public places.

Become a Ten-Percenter: Take hygiene into your own hands.

I hope you read and enjoy the article.

I’d like to point out something else that has become evident to me thanks in part to this post and many other social interactions I’ve had over the last six months.  I’ve realized that in my discussions, there is little talk of alcohol and contact time and rubbing motion.

Instead, most people have been discussing their personal lives, their experiences and more importantly, their perspective as it relates to hygiene in general.  And so, while this may be early, I do want to make the following declaration that extends beyond the hands, the soap and the sanitizer (wipes).

Hygiene is returning to its once-heralded place as a branch
on the tree of human knowledge.

For years, hygiene has been considered antiquated.  It has been mocked, ridiculed, ignored and rendered almost inutile.  But over the last few years, thanks in part to..

  • infectious disease
  • increased population density
  • urbanization
  • travel
  • imported foods
  • better understanding of the gastrointestinal tract and immunity

…many people have started to take notice of how the environment affects their health and how they can help themselves deal with the environment both outside and inside the body (what I call corporeal ecology).  As a result, many have returned to the focus of hygiene through a better understanding of corporeal ecology and human behaviour.

No longer is hygiene limited to the germs, the hands and the sanitizer.  Hygiene now encompasses social psychology (as April so vividly describes), cultural competency, economic factors and politics.  And while there is still a long way to go before hygiene is once again accepted as the rule instead of the suggestion, the potential is clear and I, for one, am hopeful.

After all, what did you think about social media just a few years ago compared to today?

Wonderful, isn’t it?


(P.S. I wonder if hygiene will ever become a human right)