The Corona Panic (II): Chemicalizing versus Minimalizing!

Within the past decade there has been a progressive and widespread neurotic tendency to use cleansing chemicals in health-related facilities, athletic clubs and gyms. In this blog, Dr. E argues against our dependency on disinfecting chemicals, and promotes his doctrine of minimal exposure to germs as the most viable alternative.

Beneatha: I have been observing your behavior for quite a long time at the gym. A striking finding about you is that you always wear your own signature gym clothing that practically covers you from toes to nose! I must confess that I love the gloves that you wear!

Dr. E is working on his signature Swiss ball-N-trx workout that is currently being refined for 60+ individuals! Where is this picture taken? Stay tuned!

Dr. E: I’m a passionate proponent of prophylaxis and preventative measures! Normally, I try not to touch any equipment with my bare hands—period! My skin almost never touches any equipment or surfaces—period! Don’t be mistaken! if I sweat profusely and if I touch the handles of gym machines with my sweaty bare hands, then as a respect for others, I will wipe out the machine. I learned this long time ago at my old school! However, I will try to be extremely conservative when it comes to the use of chemicals. One more thing, I will never ever carry the sprayer bottle and spray all those nasty aerosols over the equipment when another person, just 2 feet away, is heavily breathing during his or her cardiovascular-enhancement workout. I just don’t want to force him/her to involuntarily inhale all those corrosive chemicals! The rule that I follow is that I spray the chemical to the paper towel, far away from other people, and then walk to the gym equipment and wipe it off!

Beneatha: I see what you mean! The more I think about it, the more I see its merits.

Dr. E: Look at it this way; we thank the Lord after we sit around the dining table and BEFORE eating, why shouldn’t we clean the workout machines likewise and BEFORE working on them!

Do you know how many paper towels (trees!) and chemicals this will save for our beloved earth? Let the old schoolers like me, who neither want their skins touching anything, nor want to pour chemicals on everything, have their ways too!

Beneatha: I totally agree! Interestingly, the more closely I look at your gloves the more I love them! Did you buy them from a sporting goods outlet?

Look at Dr. E maximizing his grip and minimizing his germ exposure while working out at his favorite athletic club! Do you know where the picture is taken? The hint is that Dr. E calls it “the best health club in the world!”

Dr. E: Actually, I got them all from Costco! Believe it or not, I have 4 pairs of them!

Beneatha: What’s the brand? Dr. E: It’s “Head!” I love them! In addition to protecting me against the germs, they give me an awesome grip and enhance my workout intensity as well. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the most outstanding feature of them. This was the feature that sold me to the gloves at my first glance!

Beneatha: Dr. E, you’re the master of suspense! What is it?

Dr. E: They have sensors on them! So, I can text, dial numbers or work on my cellphone at the gym without even taking my gloves off!

Beneatha: Now I see why your gloves look like an indispensable signature attire of yours at the gym!

Dr. E: The more I’ve  used them, the more I’ve  loved them! I simply can’t go to gym without them anymore! Let me share a firsthand personal note with you. Whenever, for any reason I don’t have my gloves with me at the gym, it is as if I’m missing something or have no clothes on! To put it in simple terms, I no longer like the feeling of touching handlebars of the machines and free-weights with my bare hands.

Beneatha: From what I’ve been able to gather, it seems that physical activities are indispensable part of your daily routine. Did you always wear gloves in the gyms?

Dr. E: I used to occasionally use weightlifting gloves for better grip in the past. But most of those gloves don’t cover the first two (distal) digits of your fingers and keep them exposed. They have traditionally been meant to only improve our grip. These days I use my own preferred gloves for my entire workouts. I use them on TRX stations, spinning bikes, elliptical machines, free weights, you name it! I simply can’t work out without them anymore!

Beneatha: So, for many years, you used to touch everything in the gym with your bare hands!

Dr. E: Correct! But did I ever get skin diseases? Not that I recall! One round of handwashing and one round of showering with chlorinated tap water after completion of my daily workout routine have so far kept me kicking for over 70 years!

Beneatha: There is a recent worldwide frenzy about the Coronavirus. To what extent has your signature hand glove use been helpful in minimizing your odds of contracting the COVID-19 or other germs?

Dr. E: A lot! I feel completely safe when I use them. Think about it this way: they safeguard my hands against those corrosive chemicals that are sprayed by obsessed individuals  on the gym equipment while minimizing my exposure to germs! More importantly, I want you to understand that we do not know much about the cumulative hazards of exposure to these chemicals. For all I know, the rate of hypersensitivity skin reactions such as atopic dermatitis and the rate of skin cancers such as melanoma and nonmelanoma cancers have greatly increased within the past 10 years. To what extend these are correlated with the widespread use of corrosive chemicals is yet to be established.

I know what you will be doing at the gym next time! I may not know everything, but I know one thing with a high degree of certainty, and that is what my followers will be wearing on their hands hereafter at gym!

Dr. E


Also known as "Dr. Testbuster", Dr. Eftekar (Dr. E) is the founder, head coach and lead lecturer of the medical board training programs at Northwestern Medical Review. A unique attribute of Dr. E is his well-rounded academic background that, in addition to the science of medicine, extends over several other disciplines such as physiology of aging and longevity, philosophy of science and medicine, and integrated kinesiology.


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