An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
IT’S BECOME CLEAR that the answers to COVID-19 are relatively simple, if only we can bring ourselves to do it. While we wait for a vaccine, social distancing has gone into high gear.
The quarantining of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife Sophie Gregoire and his own decision to self-isolate for two weeks have proven to be a powerful endorsement of social distancing.
The cancellation of multiple public events is an inconvenience but one we’re willing to live with under the circumstances. Yet the other component in this battle — conscientious personal hygiene — is proving more of a challenge.
I had need of the washroom at a truck stop café this past weekend. I always do my best to avoid contact with doorknobs etc. in such places but we can’t control the actions of others.
So I was appalled when a man answered nature’s call and then walked straight out of the washroom into the convenience store area. Not one drop of water touched his hands. Not one bit of soap.
It’s a sad fact that men are pigs when it comes to hand washing. If they wash at all after doing their business, they stick their hands under the tap for a brief moment, may or may not use soap, and may or may not dry off.
That man in the truck stop could, theoretically, be responsible for the loss of a life, maybe his own. He probably goes through his day never bothering to wash his hands.
Look, people, let’s all follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice: “Wash your hands like you’ve been chopping jalapenos and you need to change your contacts.” And, count to 20.
Hand washing, controlling coughs and sneezes, avoiding crowds, these are cheap and effective, if we can learn the lesson.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.