Thursday, September 17, 2009

Are We All Becoming Germaphobes?

USA Network's Adrian Monk, poster boy for germaphobes

It seems that almost every time I turn on the television someone is talking about all the germs and bacteria that lurk among us. Just this week, I was informed that my purse is likely a cesspool of disease inducing bacteria, my shower head could kill me with the germs it can spray out, my makeup can be spreading germs all over my face, my shopping cart is likely covered in crud that could make me sick, my shower cap could be awash in nasty bacteria, and my toothbrush is probably dirtier than my bathroom floor.

One can only wonder how I have survived on this earth so long.

All kidding aside, while many people do not always think about the things that they touch on a daily basis and where it has been, I see no harm in raising a person’s consciousness about how he or she can come in contact with germs. But I sense that what seems like wall-to-wall coverage of where germs may lurk is an offshoot of the H1N1 (AKA “swine flu”) concerns. I feel as if someone is preparing me for some sort of viral Armageddon, not unlike Stephen King’s classic book, “The Stand.” I’ve noticed that completely healthy people are getting somewhat obsessive/compulsive when it comes to wiping down surfaces and slathering on globs of hand sanitizer and practically bathing in antibacterial cleansers.

I suppose there are many people who aren’t as clean conscious as I am, so all this media coverage about where people can come in contact with germs may be of help to some. But I think the whole thing can be addressed by a few common sense tips, without creating a country of germaphobes:

1. Wash your hands - a lot. If you can, wash them in your sleep too. You don’t know where your hands have been in your dreams.

2. Keep your kitchen and bathroom clean. In fact, never go in there because then you can be sure there are no germs in there.

3. Never put your purse or man-bag on the floor. Ever.

4. When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth, preferably with your arm. Never use someone else’s arm.

5. Close that toilet seat when not in use. Quit debating the issue, just close it!

6. Never have children as they are nothing but large germ and bacteria magnets. If you already have children, well, you're screwed.

7. Bleach. Bleach everything. Just bleach it all.

Of course, if as in the case of the book “The Stand” we get a germ that is transmitted just by the air we breathe, all bets are off. In the meantime, I think I will buy stock in Clorox (CLX).

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