Something that I’ve gotten used to is the idea that hospital’s are gross. People believe that they get the best care and won’t get sick there, but often they end up with more virulent strains of bacteria and other fun pathogens than are out there in the world if they stay for more than a couple days. Patients want to stay, we want them out – before they catch a hospital acquired anything and Medicare refuses to treat an inevitability.
I’ve also realized just how dirty the white coats, scrubs, and other materials healthcare workers wear or use regularly can get. Therefore, my indignation and abhorrence at the following situation has nothing to do with me being a pompous, self-righteous, gym freak, but more from an appreciation of the nastiness being spread.
I ran into a guy in hospital scrubs the other night who looked every bit a male nurse. He was sweating over everything, through the scrubs, and onto the benches, chairs, etc. I hoped that 45 minutes of cardio would be sufficiently long enough for me to not have to associate with him and his profuse secretions. Unfortunately a comely female joined him 30 minutes into my workout and they proceeded to regale each other with stories from the hospital. Evidently they work in the same hospital, if not the same unit, and were bullshitting while they went through perfunctory maneuvers. During this time I learned he'd worked earlier that day.
After finishing my cardio, wiping off my own sweaty brow, I proceeded to the bench and performed some dumbbell chest exercises. I draped a towel over the bench in order to catch my perspiration and avoid contaminating myself from anyone else (like disgusting Bob over there).
Halfway through I got a drink and watched, to my absolute horror, as the sweaty male nurse, still perspiring profusely, got on the bench and proceeded to do some work – while my towel remained! I waited for him to conclude and let him know the proper etiquette for gyms. I then told him about the obscene display he was creating working out with his scrubs and most likely the transfer of serious bacteria throughout the room. He was offended, told me to chill, and received another tongue lashing from me regarding the erroneous impression he had about his behavior. These are, I reminded him, the very conditions needed for MRSA and other infections to be acquired - humid environment with physical activity and potential skin breakage.
Had I not been keen to the notion of transmitting disease pathogens from clothing I might have just asked him to not use the bench when I was still clearly in possession. However, I can’t get past the purely abhorrent nature of what he did. To further let him know just how upset about the situation I was I threw the towel in the trash.