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"Don't touch!"

November 11, 2008
by stacey
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I don’t normally yell at my mother-in-law, I swear. (In general, they say it’s not smart to anyway, unless you know a good divorce lawyer.) But I couldn’t help myself the other day. We were dropping her off at JFK, when she made her move. I felt her eyes on him as he hung in the carrier I was wearing on my chest. I knew she was going in for a hug to say goodbye to her grandson. But ever since he’s discovered his hands, my baby tries to put his fingers (and anything else he can get his hands on) in his mouth. I freaked because we were at an airport — at a major metropolitan international airport in New York City with God-knows-what viruses and bacterium festering on every surface. “You can kiss him,” I told her, “but I don’t want your fingers on him. I don’t want anything you touched while we were here to touch him.”

Every time I visit my primary care physician, I see signs with slogans like ‘Washing Hands Saves Lives,’ which I whole-heartedly endorse, as you may have guessed from my airport event. And speaking of, be sure to check out Daphne Lawrence’s story on hospital acquired infections in our upcoming December issue. Honestly, with all the bugs going around these days, it really is right on the money. On a side note, ever wonder how many unwashed hands have touched the bills that are sitting in your wallet right now?

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