Because I was sort of talking about this with Sparkly.
I have a degree in chemistry, but if you’d known me when I was younger, you probably wouldn’t expect it.
I have a tendency to be afraid of contamination, of poisons and diseases, of touching the wrong thing. It isn’t really that strong, but it’s a recurring theme in things that I’m afraid of.
It’s never bothered me in my chemistry studies, though. There are a couple of reasons why:
- In lab, I know exactly how dangerous everything is (I was usually required to look up this information myself, for everything we worked with) and exactly what sort of safety precautions to take.
- I have all those safety precautions available, and even more precautions for if they fail.
- There’s a separation between lab and normal life. I take my gloves etc. off, wash my hands, and leave everything behind in lab.
- I trust my teachers not to ask me to do anything unsafe, and to take care of things if something goes wrong.
So gloves (we always used nitrile, because latex allergies, and because it’s easier to only stock one kind) represent safety for me. And because I spent about six hours a week for four years wearing them, they aren’t strange to me, either. They don’t make me think of doctors or anything like that.