Several years ago while sitting in a management team meeting, I was suddenly stricken with symptoms of a particularly hideous strain of an outbreak of norovirus that had been spreading through the hospital where I worked. Because those infected with a norovirus illness shed billions of the dreaded virus particles in their stool and vomit, the hospital protocol during this outbreak was to immediately call in a specially-trained housekeeping team wearing what looked like Hazmat suits to scrub down the staff washroom I’d just used. Even the calendar and paper posters pinned up on the washroom’s little bulletin board were removed and destroyed.
Until then, I thought I was the only one who felt creeped out by touching paper in any public waiting room. These rooms – particularly in hospitals and doctors’ offices – are jam-packed with sick people, people! At the best of times, I don’t like sitting in a patient waiting room, never mind voluntarily picking up any reading material while I’m there. Even people who are not coughing, hacking, snorting, sneezing or wiping dripping mucous from their inflamed noses with unwashed bare fingers can still be transmitting bacteria and viruses onto every page of those waiting room magazines. Continue reading “Don’t touch those magazines in the waiting room”