Name that hymn, anybody?
You probably can’t, because I’ve changed the lyrics, as I’m wont to do.
Shout out to Pastor Anna for reminding me of the original lyrics early on in this saga: strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
Bright hope is a little overly optimistic for a curmudgeon like me, so let’s get on to my urgent plea for when this ends; which I choose to believe it will.
Please stop Chloroxing all the things, including ourselves.
Disclaimer: I have degrees in biology and clinical lab science and have studied just enough microbiology and immunology to be a menace to society.
When the experts deem the time is right, and it is safe to return something resembling the life we used to know; the antibacterials need to become the exception and not the rule.
My disdain for hand sanitizer is not new. I historically think of it as something akin to Satan’s piss. It’s evil and grosses me out. There is a time and place for it (hand sanitizer, Satan’s piss probably not so much). When visiting places such as El Salvador and Vietnam, where running water isn’t always a given, I used it often. When I resort to using the Jonny on the Spot at a youth sports tournament or music festival, I utilize the provided dispensers upon my exit.
But, as a general rule, I do not carry it with me. And the liquid in my home’s soap dispensers is not antibacterial. It’s just soap. Used with water. That’s it. And, while I do keep some off-brand chlorox wipes on hand, they are used sparingly: if I’ve been working with uncooked meats in the kitchen or occasionally when cleaning a bathroom (particularly the very scary one on the kid level of my house).
When working properly (and not in the midst of a global pandemic), the human immune system is a marvel. So let it do its thing. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics and antibacterials is also a marvel, but as opposed to the beneficial immune system, it’s some scary shit (and, in my hyperbolic opinion, what will ultimately be the end of the human race).
In summary, learn to coexist with germs; because if we’re constantly trying to kill them all, all the time; it’s not going to end well for humans.
I trust it is clear I’m speaking in generalities here. If you’re immunocompromised, or scrubbing in for surgery, or working with a vulnerable population; you’re hopefully smart enough to know you have your own rulebooks to follow.
Be Well, Friends.