pink J-cloth on the adjacent slops basin.
As I picked it up with my left hand my [un]conscious brain screamed <contaminate> <covidinate> <contaminate> but too late. Aghast I looked at my hand as if it was The Beast With Five Fingers and I was Peter Lorre at his most melodramatic. The cloth was wet, at room temperature, and used by who know how many people that morning. I'm a biologist and not usually squeamish about bodily fluids or organic matter having wiped a lot of bottoms young, old and mine in my time. But I decided that something must be done and so went to wash my hands for the second time in five minutes. The tea was wonderful.
I left in the afternoon and was home in time to take a delivery of kerosene from Jerry the Oil, who famously delivered heating oil through the still frozen aftermath of Storm Emma two years ago. He only takes ten minutes to make his drop but it's worth every minute because he's chatty and on-the-button about what's going on. That session was about Corvid-19, closures, community and croissants. Croissants? Yes, I know what colour they are. Anyway, Jerry starts really early in the morning and works all the hours the gods send. On Tuesday he got the munchies midmorning and stopped in the local garage for a stop-gap for rumbly-tum. He was much taken with a shiny fresh croissant; thought it was Covid-safe because of tongs and freshness and had it in one hand as he paid for it with folding money. At that moment, like me with the J-cloth, alarum bells <unclean> <unclean> rang in his head as he looked at the filthy lucre in his hand. All this hand-washing is making us reflect on a) how little we do it b) how little damage we sustain from leaving the bacteria alone.