I have now heard people my age and older mocking the young for sneezing into the inner elbow part of their sleeve. What? Are you serious? Are you so intent on mocking the young that you don’t realize that this makes sense?
A decade ago when I first saw this I questioned it because it looked strange. But when it was explained that this is obviously more hygienic I had to agree. People sneezing into their hands are worse than just gross. They are obviously spreading illness by using those germy hands on everything. When’s the last time you touched something with your inner elbow? It’s rare, which is why it makes an hygienic and cleaner place to sneeze.
Now I’m not an expert, like germaphobes, but it seems to me that the younger generation has it right by fist bumping instead of shaking hands. This should also help stop the spread of germs like flu or colds.
Also the seeming ubiquitous nature of hand sanitizer seems to have caught on lately, first at hospitals and retirement homes but now also in public spaces like a bus terminal.
So I am betting that today’s younger generation spends a little less time being sick than previous generations. I am currently awaiting the comprehensive studies that prove this. It will never be perfect because with some sneezes clocking in at 100 miles per hour, there is going to be some bounce back from that inner elbow sleeve.
Even if these studies show that there are only negligible improvements in illness rates, the ick factor is certainly less. Do you want to shake the hand of someone who has just sneezed into that same hand? I don’t.
Now that society is waking up to things, perhaps those cooks who dip their fingers into a sauce for a taste can now stop this icky cooking habit. It gets even worse when they double dip their finger for a taste test a few minutes later.
Or could people stop licking their fingers to turn the next page of a book. I quadruply would like this to be true of everyone that reads a library book.
Maybe it is my age showing but I still think that the wearing of face masks is a bit too paranoid a strategy around germs. I would only do this if there was an outbreak of SARS or something similar again. But maybe the younger generation would allow this without being too judgmental on their peers. I think they’re going to have less illness – especially when us not so swift older people are not around to jinx things by our stuck-in-the-past actions.