By Marbeya Garcia-Bermudez

You can’t escape them, because they’re everywhere. Your home, school, the supermarket and the gym are infested by them. Naturally, germs can be found in many places, but their existence is much more prominent within certain environments. For example, when you enter a supermarket your risk of en-countering germs is extremely high from the moment you put your hands on the shopping cart. This risk is so high because of the sheer number of people who use shopping carts, from children to people with dirty hands. Because of this, it’s not surprising that they’re loaded with more germs and fecal matter than public bathrooms. Next time, maybe using the disinfectant wipes at the entrance sounds like a good plan. However you’re still not free. Self checkouts are used daily and provide shelters for germs. Also, reusable shopping bags can contain germs if not washed. Beware.

The next day, you might find yourself at a fancy restaurant in the city that you’ve been dying to try. However, menus are rarely cleaned and can harbor flu viruses for up to eighteen hours. Try keeping the menu away from your utensils and wash your hands after handling the menu. But wait, you’re not safe yet. At restaurants, lemons have been frequently discovered to contain many microorganisms. Order drinks without fruit to avoid the risk.

After such a hearty and plentiful meal, you might go to the gym. Many weight-lifting gloves are made of polyester, which allows bacteria to pass from the equipment to your face. Instead, try using the weights with bare hands and use disinfectant wipes. However, you always risk contact with germs since disinfecting some equipment doesn’t completely lower the number of germs. Therefore, avoid touching your face at all and use hand sanitizer.

Your home is also a safe haven for germs. First, the remote control is rarely cleaned, yet it is handled so frequently. Additionally, your vacuum cleaner transfers germs from room to room. As a result, germs move with ease across your home. Many people’s beds host dust mites which feed off of your dead skin, and their fecal matter contributes to asthma and allergies. Here is a good moment to explain to your parents that not making your bed can prevent humidity levels above 50, which are perfect for dust mites.

Last but not least, technology, although very advanced, lacks protection from germs. Your cell phone can harbor bacteria which can cause skin problems. Touch screens are also covered with germs from daily contact. In other words, even with full awareness of your surroundings you’re never safe. Germs are everywhere, but with careful precautions you can avoid the extreme infections.