Hand Sanitizer

2009-October-12

I just applied a pretty healthy dose of hand sanitizer to my hands. It's something I've been doing a lot as of late, for a variety of reasons. In our office, we have always been pretty heavy users of hand sanitizer. It's just always a good idea to have around when 30 or 40 people use the same three computers over the course of a week.

Due to hysterics in the media and a little bit in the university administration, hand sanitization stations were recently installed throughout the entire school. They're essentially Purell branded devices that dump some alcohol-based hand sanitizer on your hand, and you wipe down your hands and feel better about yourself.

Admittedly, I'm not against the hand sanitizers either, especially due to my whole "compromised immune system" thing, which means that in the past year, I've been a fairly avid user of the hand sanitizers in the office, to prevent myself from getting sick.

Somewhat surprisingly, I've seen a lot of people use the hand sanitizers, not just health-concerned students, but some of them get used by almost everyone who walks by, and it seems like a lot of people will use them once or more per day, depending on their personal level of comfort and craziness.

What I'm wondering is whether or not the installation of the hand sanitizer and the slight craziness on my own part is causing me to over-utilize hand sanitizer. It looks as though there's no legitimate proof yet that such use of hand sanitizer will create resistant bacteria and viruses, but that doesn't mean it won't come back to bite us in the rear in some form or another.

Until more is found out, it seems like I'll continue using the hand sanitizer, not as a replacement for actually washing my hands, however, but to make up for my own compromised immune system. Espedially in this time where everyone else is worried about a virus that can knock someone with a fully functioning immune system off of their feet.