The Pandemic to a Germaphobe | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 04, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:45 AM, February 04, 2021

The Pandemic to a Germaphobe

Have you ever wondered how life during a pandemic is for germaphobes?

You may think an easy answer is that germaphobes, such as myself, have adapted by being careful and cleaning more vigorously than before – but there is more to it than that. We have thought of the prevention of impending doom after infection by a germ so frequently, that some of us already have formed plans to keep things clean in case an emergency such as a pandemic occurs.

What may look like out-of-control cleaning, is actually a very structured, well-thought, "supposedly" fool-proof procedure being carried out, "supposedly" being on account of the presence of variables that are ignorant humans.

We may use social distancing as an excuse to steer clear of people, but pandemic or not at least one person will manage to sneeze and spray spit directly on your face. This tends to happen when your hand is occupied, preventing you from covering your face, such as when opening a door or going up a staircase. I'm trying to go upstairs, but not all the way up to heaven, thanks. Elevators are worse; I cannot distinguish whether the wheezing I'm hearing is from someone who is ill or from myself on account of the panic attack I'm having after noticing how dirty the elevator buttons are.

Dirt removal has never been this hard. My life has morphed into a never-ending handwash commercial, so cleaning products are precious to me right now. If I loan you sanitizer willingly, it is the purest act of love I can offer to you from over three feet away. However, this love is highly conditional and subject to change. Don't be surprised by the death stares sent over a mask when you lose someone else's sanitizer.

Basic survival requirements such as eating food, drinking water, and using the bathroom while outside, is similar to being in a survival TV show – hunting to find a clean bathroom, guarding this resource with your life, and secretly bottling clean water.

Lastly, due to worries about being heard properly, people feel the need to take their masks off when speaking. But you can be heard clearly through a mask, and if not, can always speak a little louder than usual. The only difference with the mask off is that the risk of spit hitting my face is high. I understand feeling suffocated with a mask on is an issue, but breathing difficulties can also be caused after being infected due to not wearing a mask.

The purpose of this article is not a rant, but to hopefully increase awareness regarding the maintenance of proper safety procedures in the middle of the pandemic. Your actions can have detrimental consequences on others' lives, as well as causing inconvenience to germaphobes who may have otherwise been very resourceful acquaintances in a pandemic.

Okay, maybe this was a slight rant.

Bushra Zaman likes books, art, and only being contacted by email. Contact her at


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