Frightening prospect, germ war. And it’s nearer than we think.
Right at our fingertips. Which puts us on the edge of suicide.
Well we wouldn’t step in front of a bus, would we? Or a train. Or step into an open lift-shaft.
But that’s the chance we’re taking every time we forget to wash our hands.
To clean away the germs lurking there, just waiting to find ways to invade our body.
Not always our fault of course – unless we deliberately avoid it.
We use our hands for everything – touching, holding, carrying, smoothing, squeezing, grabbing, pushing, pulling – our physical contact with the world. And every single action involves germs – on every surface around us, in the air, already on our own skin.
Most of these germs are harmless. We have our own germs to protect us – bacteria outside and inside our bodies that keep harmful invaders away by crowding them out. Our own personal germ war.
But our bacteria can’t do everything – including fight the germs on our hands in concentrations greater than they can handle.
A single germ cell can’t do very much. But ganged up with others they can invade very quickly. It only takes 10 cells of norovirus to trigger a miserable stomach upset – and 10 of these tiny microscopic cells are easily scraped together by our fingers moving over something.
Next thing we touch our face and a seriously unpleasant experience becomes inevitable.
Which means washing our hands – particularly before touching our face – is our most effective way of avoiding suicide. A germ war we can win.
We look both ways before crossing the road – soap and water does the same thing. We avoid being hit by a bus – and we avoid being hit by typhoid, both of them likely to be terminal experiences.
Yeah sure, we can take a chance – and cross the road anyway. But that’s the thing about suicide, you only have to do it once.
And it’s a dangerous world out there to take chances.
You may have read recently that modern modern medicine is on the edge of collapse because our wonder-drug life-saving antibiotics are beginning not to work any more. Superbug bacteria are developing that are totally resistant, our miracle medicines do nothing.
Put that together with the rise of unexpected allergies and other disorders – and suddenly the road we’re trying to cross isn’t a quiet suburban street any more – it’s a high-speed 8-lane motorway.
Keep putting off washing your hands – and sooner or later you WILL get hit.
You might be lucky, a minor blow like norovirus or a common cold. Or you might be flattened by a pantechnicon – a small cut at first, that suddenly becomes the hulking eighteen-wheeler of sepsis – full on shut-down of the body as the immune system attacks itself, and the only way out is feet first.
Just because you can’t see germs doesn’t mean they’re no there. They certainly are – and a way more unpleasant at doing yourself in than jumping into the Thames. They take time, they hurt, they destroy the person that you are – until you pass away, a sorry shadow of suffering and misery.
So yeah, it’s a germ war. And yeah, it’s going on all the time.
Sure you can get unlucky. But when it’s so easy to be a smiling survivor, why put yourself at risk? Why wait for cholera, TB or pneumonia to come busting in with a gun to your head – and your whole world goes for a loop?
Rediscover hygiene, wash your hands thoroughly, keep yourself clean – and live to a ripe old age.