Hand washing is now in vogue. So much effort was put in before COVID-19 by the health authorities to have people get glued to the habit of hand washing but to no avail.
Today the tap-fitted receptacles for water now called Veronica is on high demand as the plastic product is bought and placed in front of offices so that both visitors and workers can wash their hands before entering such places.
If only the practice will become ingrained in us alongside other hygiene norms, a lot of changes will occur in the management of our health regimen.
The hand washing practice was until COVID-19 limited to mostly schools. Cholera outbreaks over the years informed the decision to introduce the Veronica buckets in schools. It is good schoolchildren are picking the habits but it does not look like most of them are able to practise it at home because their parents do not ensure the consistency of the habits.
Hygiene is, of course, not limited to schools but should be part of our lives.
It is our wish that by the time COVID-19 is subdued, we would have, as a people, been imbibed with the hand washing practice.
Not only that, we must understand and appreciate the role of hygiene in our lives, especially the fallout from ignoring this important drill.
We must reverse our poor hygiene standards in this country so that the Health Bill will plummet. It is common to see cabbies load loaves of bread in the booth of their cars and on the rear seats; the loaves are thereby exposed not only to the contagion-carrying wind but to the particles of dirt in these parts of the vehicles.
Sometimes the loaves of bread and other edible items being hawked fall to the ground. These are quickly picked up by the hawkers who with their hands remove the attached dirt. The unfortunate buyer picks them up and consumes. Sometimes the result is Salmonella Typhi infection.
Even more surprising is the indifference of people who witness some of these unhygienic occurrences. They neither complain nor even stop the hawkers from including the possibly contaminated food into what they are carrying.
Had COVID-19 been associated with our habits of littering the environment through used polythene bags and choked gutters we bet there would have been a revolution in our relationship with our surroundings.
When it is all over, which should be soon by the grace of God, we must chart a new course through greater concern for the environment now that we understand more than before how contagions can lead to pandemics and cause so much discomfort and even grief to the whole world.