My rant was primarily about my neckYEAST INFECTION (which I realize was more sweat-related and less gym-STD) and the way that the gym staff seems much more interested in collecting contracts and cash than actually orienting the resolutioners to gym etiquette like wiping down the machines after use.
That got me thinking. Sure, I almost always do my part and wipe down the machine after I use it. But do I really trust that the person before me did the same? How many times have I seen people hop off without taking the two minutes or less to wipe down the equipment with the provided sanitary wipes?
Plus, have you seen the movie Contagion? When I first saw it, I didn't want to touch anything or anyone. Ever. I didn't want to go out in public, I wanted rubber gloves and SARS masks and vats of liquid sanitizer to bathe in. Yikes...
I'd like to start a revolution. Rather than wiping down equipment AFTER we use it, because really, most people just don't seem to give a damn about anyone but themselves, we should wipe down equipment BEFORE we use it. And if you don't care about the sweat of the person before you, don't bother! If you do care about the sweat of the person before you, go ahead and wipe it off.
Science-y people - is there a reason that it's preferable to wipe off the sweat when it's fresh as opposed to after it's dried on? Are we really doing any good with those little wipes or are we just fooling ourselves? And, really, isn't there some better solution that could involve the gym personnel coming through regularly and spraying something on the equipment? Or maybe WE could spray something on the equipment?
Anyways, now I wipe down the equipment I use before AND after my workout. It takes a total of maybe 5 minutes extra. It's possible I look like a neurotic germaphobe to those around me, which I'm not (am I?) but whatever. I feel better about the whole deal, so it's totally worth it!