Get a third more from your staff without paying any extra – and they’ll love you for it

Counting the pennies
It’s money you’ve already spent – but you get it back with interest. Full staff effort 100% of the time, everybody motivated and going for it

Good staff, are they? All solid professionals.

Worth every penny that you pay them.

If only you were  getting full value.

You’re not, you know. And here’s why.

You’ve allowed for holidays, right? And probably around six days sick leave.

Yes, that’s about a month off, because you’re understanding and reasonable – part of the cost of doing business.

But you’ve left out the rest.

Those days when they’re not feeling all that hot. Scratchy throat maybe – a headache and a sniffle. Or a churning gut ache that has them running to the loo.

The unwell-at-work overhead

Yes, but they’re pros. Committed and going for it.

So they force themselves to work, come what may. Clenched teeth and popping paracetamol – but at their desks and determined. A compliment to your motivational skills.

Better ask yourself though, how productive they are, feeling like that. Up to speed, yes. But struggling to keep going – battling to keep focus, cross-eyed following detail.

Sure you recognise the symptoms – you’ve been there yourself. You’re at work, but not really – underpowered and you know it, going through the motions.

Presenteeism, it’s called. Being unwell at work. Like absenteeism, but way more common. Up to 57.5 days a year, according to a GCC study validated by the World Health Organization. Almost ten times more than days off sick, nearly three working months.

And that’s the average.

Bottom line on salaries – you’re paying for twelve months on every staff member. But in actual productivity, you’re only getting nine.

Sloppy work costs money

That’s not all you’re paying for either.

There’s the quality of work and the consequences of not being fully alert. Mistakes get made when staff aren’t on the ball. Deadlines get missed, customers get second best, service standards slip – the costs can be ginormous.

You can’t penalise your staff though. Being unwell is a fact of life. It’s not their fault. Or yours either.

Actually, without pussy-footing around, probably both of you are to blame.

All you have to ask is, why? Why are staff unwell at work?

For staff members, ten-to-one it’s a lapse of hygiene. Most if not all minor illnesses are caused by dirty hands – or transmitted to hands in a dirty environment. Trouble is, since germs are so small they’re invisible, our hands don’t LOOK dirty, even when they are.

Which kind of explains why:

It also underlines the harsh reality – that most minor illnesses, colds, flu, tummy bugs, etc – are all self-inflicted.

Better hygiene, or lose money

OK, you can’t force staff into better habits. But put bottles of antibacterial gel or handy wipes on every desk where they can’t miss them, and the problem should reduce big time.

That’s not all though, because it’s you who provides the workplace. Part of your duty of care is to ensure staff are safe when they’re in there. From germs – as well as hot and cold, dark conditions and pelting rain.

It is the law, for instance, to protect staff from legionnaire’s disease – just one kind of bacteria out of the billions we are exposed to every day. Neglect this, and you could be heavily fined, possibly even go to prison.

And there’s plenty of other germs that are just as inconvenient or deadly.

Salmonella, norovirus, campylobacter or e.coli are all stomach bugs easily picked up off light switches, door handles, keyboards or touch screens. Catch one of them in your workplace and your entire staff could be down for days.

There’s also the air that staff breathe – 80% of the space within the workplace that never gets cleaned – most cleaning services just don’t have the capability. Yet workplace air is how bugs like colds and flu transfer – not forgetting legionnaire’s disease.

And there’s always germs to pick up. Our own body cells are outnumbered by colonised bacteria more than ten times over – and every one of us trails our own “signature” cloud of germs around with us.

All change, all win

Get rid of the germs and the whole ballgame changes.

If staff aren’t exposed to germs, they can’t get sick. They don’t take days off – and they don’t drag themselves into work unwell, fumbling through their jobs and infecting their colleagues. At a stroke, those 57.5 days of presenteeism – almost three working months – no longer happen.

You get 100% of your staff, 100% of the time – a whole third up on the 75% of the time you get now.

So how’s it done?

Quite simply, by sterilising the place. Oxidising all germs to oblivion so they’re harmless. All bacteria, all viruses, all fungi, all moulds – gone.

Your own cleaning service can do it, on top of their usual schedule after staff have gone home.  Simply mist the place up with hydrogen peroxide and the deed is done. No germs anywhere, your staff are safe.

And safe means secure. Staff feel confident. They’re healthy and well, full of energy and go. They WANT to do things, to achieve, to excel. Like endorphins kicking in after a session at the gym, they respond to the feel-good of being up and ready for anything.

They love their job, they love their colleagues, they love you.

Double or quits

So it’s your choice.

Stay as you are now and hope your staff keep healthy. Or make sure there’s no doubt of it and win yourself a third more productivity with your existing resources – absolutely free.

More productivity, minimal cost and everybody motivated.

Makes you think how all that drive and commitment would look on your balance sheet, hey?

Picture Copyright: jayfish / 123RF Stock Photo

Being fat is not natural – it’s because we constantly OD on antibiotics

Doughnut girl
Not natural to OD. Those cravings are not natural either – they’re put there by antibiotics

Believe all you like about sugar and junk foods. Our whole lives we OD on the most efficient fat booster ever invented.

It’s antibiotics that make us fat, guaranteed. And we keep taking them every day, with every mouthful, willy-nilly. OD is right.

Huh? Antibiotics?

You bet.

Because farmers found out a long time ago that antibiotics promote growth extra-fast, extra-big. So now they get shovelled into farm animals like there’s no tomorrow.

240,000 tonnes a year at last count.

Not as a medicine – though that helps in the intense but unsanitary factory farms where the animals live.

No, no – as a super-performing fatten-up additive to feedstuff. From an egg to a roasting chicken in 6 weeks. Or from newborn calf to an Aberdeen Angus steak in 14 months.

Our daily OD

And that’s the same stuff we’re eating, with every mouthful we take. Our daily OD.

How come?

Because there’s antibiotics in the meat that those animals provide. And in the manure they produce. 80% of what they eat is excreted as waste – to enrich the soil and provide fertiliser.

So there’s antibiotics in the grass those same animals eat too – and their feed crops. Plus everything else that grown with “natural” fertiliser too. Which means grain crops, vegetables, fruit, salady stuff. Even vegetarians chow down antibiotics. They OD too.

Jackpot for the farmers. A massive problem for the rest of us – literally.

Because it’s overuse of antibiotics in agriculture that’s accelerating lethal superbugs that our medical miracle drugs can’t cure.

And the other headache – antibiotic resistance

If you haven’t heard of antibiotic resistance, you will soon. Because next time you’re ill or have an accident, there’s a strong chance any antibiotics used to keep you alive won’t work. The superbugs are immune – and one after another, our top performing antibiotics are proving useless against them.

Which includes colistin – a drug that medics call an antibiotic of last resort – the one docs use when all else fails.

Colistin is not new. It first hit pharmacy shelves in 1959. And it wasn’t so amazing either – toxic to the kidneys. So it sat around for years, not much used. Which means bacteria had little chance to develop resistance to it.

An old drug, not much used – that made it effective when a whole new crop of antibiotic resistant bacteria pitched up. Take that, you varmint, bang! And people got well.

Being old made it cheap as well. So of course farmers grabbed hold of it as soon as they knew. Right now, today, there’s a ker-chunk, ker-chunk factory in China producing 10,000 TONS OF IT a year.

The 10,000 ton OD

10,000 TONS of our last ditch lifesaver! All going into pigs and chickens – to make bigger, fatter livestock – and bigger, fatter Chinese.

Because our metabolisms are basically no different to animals’. So inevitably we will get fat too, as our gut-bacteria is graunched out of proper balanced operation.

First those antibiotics will boost ghrelin, a bacteria-produced hormone that triggers appetite. Then they choke off leptin, another bacteria-produced hormone that suppresses appetite when we’ve had enough. Ready to OD on food as well as antibiotics.

With nothing to stop us going for second helpings, we climb in without realising. Double ham and eggs, double burger and chips, it happens before we know it.

And just like the animals, our bodies start ABSORBING more than they should – becoming more efficient at extracting nutrients from the food we eat. Except we don’t need that stuff – and we’ve eaten too much anyway.

And THAT’S where the spare tyre comes from – not what we eat, or how much we eat, but what we physically take in. Basically TOO MUCH.

OD antibiotics and OD food.

Not natural at all and a major headache for doctors worldwide. Because one of these days we will wake up and no MEDICAL antibiotics will work at all.

No more heart bypasses, hip operations, C-section childbirths, nothing. You could even die from infection caused by a paper cut. Back to the Dark Ages.

Plus of course, fat becomes obesity – and we’re on the road to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Oops – which means antibiotics are killing us more than rescuing us.

Time to find alternatives. Herbal remedies if that works for you – or a whole different kind of science.  Our money’s on phages – but that’s a whole other story.

Let’s hope it happens soon. Two thirds of us Brits are now overweight or obese – and a third of our kids.

No more ODs – we’re fed up with being fat.

Picture Copyright: jayfish / 123RF Stock Photo

No amount of sugar can sweeten the truth – it’s ANTIBIOTICS that make us fat

Plus size girl cutting fat off
We can cut out sugar, starch or all of them – truth is, we’ll still be fat unless we cut out antibiotics

The truth is certainly that we’re all getting fat.

Two thirds of adults are already overweight or obese. So are one third of children.

Our couch potato lifestyle, junk food addiction and sugary drinks are to blame say the experts. We’re bringing this misery on ourselves.

The truth is equally that we never used to be like this. The Swinging England of the Sixties was stick thin by comparison. So were the Seventies, and the Eighties.

People slouched in front of the telly in those days too. And ate junk food. Wimpy hamburgers from Coventry Street in 1954. Pizza Hut from Islington in 1973.

And of course Coke from 1926, starting at Selfridges.

Uh huh.

The disastrous miracle

Looks like there’s more to the truth than meets the eye. Our Mums weren’t fat, so how come we are?  How come if we want to look slim, we have to be Photo-shopped that way?

Because if all the things that are supposed to make us fat were around all those years ago, why are we only ballooning up now? Our current epidemic of fatness only started in the late 90s, so what was different in the 40 years before?

Yes, well those were the days before factory farms were invented to feed the world’s exploding population. 2½ billion back then, versus 7½ billion now. Farmers needed a magic bullet or all of us would starve.

The miracle they chose was antibiotics.

First, antibiotics would keep animals healthy, all crowded together in the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) needed to supply large numbers.

Second and more amazing, antibiotics would make them grow faster. Bulk up quicker, be ready for market sooner. From egg to roasting chicken in six weeks. From new born calf to Aberdeen Angus steak in 14 months.

Fatter and fatter

Though scientists had known about the growth phenomenon ever since antibiotics were discovered in 1948 – overnight they rocketed to became the ultimate growth booster. Round the world, antibiotics were shovelled into animal feedstuffs like there was no tomorrow.

Today, according to a government report, 240,000 tons of antibiotics a year are used on farms around the world. By 2030, that could nearly double.

An industrial volume so staggering that medics attribute it as the major cause of antibiotic resistance. The rise of superbugs – harmful and often lethal bacteria that have mutated to become immune to treatment by antibiotics.

Officially, antibiotics are therefore banned from animal feedstuffs as a growth booster – certainly throughout the EU. They’re still used to keep animals healthy though. Their daily dose is still administered – but not as food, as medicine.

And in the super-crowded, unhealthy slum conditions of CAFOs, antibiotics are essential to keeping them alive.

Fatter vegetarians too

It doesn’t stop there.

Manure from these animals is used to enrich soil and fertilise plant crops. It’s full of nutrients – and residual antibiotics. Because as part of nature’s life balance, most animals excrete 80% of what they eat – to become a food source for plants and other living things.

Which means animals are still EATING antibiotics anyway. Not added to food, but already in there – grown from the earth in the grass, straw, soya, maize and corn they’re fed.

And that means, you guessed it, they’re laced full of antibiotics when they’re sold and wind up on our supermarket shelves. Food that we will eat, charged with these same super growth boosters – more and more with every meal. Deliberate fat-makers we don’t even know we’re eating.

It’s not just in meat either.

The same animal fertiliser is ingested by plants of all kinds – grain crops, fruit and vegetables , fruit trees, everything. They’re full of antibiotics too.

So is our water. Antibiotics from manure leach into the soil and down to the water table. They’re in our streams and reservoirs, including the Thames.  Every turn of our kitchen taps is another partial dose.

Deliberately fatter, without our permission

And there’s the truth of it. Every meal we eat, every morsel, every bite – contains a residual dose of the most efficient growth booster in human history.

We’re getting fat because our bodies respond just the same way that animals’ do. We crave power foods because our hunger switch is always on. Our bodies never know when they’ve had enough. They even extract more food value than they should, absorbing more nutrients, accelerating the fattening process.

Thanks to antibiotics, we eat too much.

Can’t face the truth? Easier to live with than the mumbo-jumbo we’ve  been sold about diets all these years though, isn’t it? Which, it seems, is not exactly the truth either.

Besides, it means it’s not our fault we’re fat.

We’re the only ones who can fix it though. And it can be done. Simple physics. We’re eating too much, so we all have to eat less.

Not easy. To succeed takes hard work and will power.

And that’s no lie.

Picture Copyright: ximagination / 123RF Stock Photo

Why cultures that eat with their hands are more germ-safe than we are

Indian family eating
More to savour, more to enjoy – and ALWAYS washing hands before anything

Germ-safe and healthy, despite what you might think.

Because whenever did you hear of a norovirus outbreak in India? Or Morocco? Or Thailand? Or Indonesia?

Not very often, right?

Not that it doesn’t happen.

Delhi belly is a world famous killjoy. But not always caused by overpowering curry.

More frequently, it’s accepted as as a lapse in ritual.

Hand hygiene is a way of life

Because the unbreakable etiquette in all countries that eat food with their fingers is – to always wash your hands first.

Not exactly what we do is it?

Though our whole lifestyle often involves eating with our fingers – sandwiches, wraps, pizza, burgers – hardly ever do we remember to wash our hands at all. Always assuming we can find a place to wash them in the first place.

It’s not in our culture, it’s not in our lifestyle.

And thanks to messy eating options like Nando’s or Sticky Fingers, we even get it backwards. That hand basin in the middle of the restaurant is for after, not before. Sticky fingers, smeary mouth. Right in front of everybody.

Weird.

Which shows just how iffy our knife and fork thinking is.

How can they be safer to eat with, or keep germs away, when our hands might have gone a whole day without washing? Office, bus, taxi, tube – plenty of places to pick up bugs. And pick them up off the fork into our mouths as we eat.

Respect your body’s temple

In Muslim countries, wudu or washing hands is pious ritual, far more than hygienic necessity. Being clean of body and mind is essential in all things about life. Hindus call it abhisheka . Among Jews it is netilat yadayim. All of them remove germs.Ritual washing

Not so ourselves, with our cruise-ship virus, our Don’t-Wash-Hands-Disease, our norovirus.

Beyond good, basic hygiene there is nothing in our culture to require us to wash our hands before meals – or at any other time. Hard statistics bear this out:

Unthinkable in cultures that eat with their hands. Probably even sacrilegious. Which when you reflect on the philosophy of My Body is a Temple makes a whole lot of sense.

Much better than writhing in agony with tummy cramps, violent vomiting and unbearable dairrhoea.

And look at the feel-good  people get from eating with their fingers. All senses working together to enjoy – seeing, touching, tasting, smelling, and hearing the sounds inside your mouth reminding you this is fun.

Wash our hands and we can have fun too.

Without the all-too-often queasy feeling that all is not well.

Enjoy!

Picture Copyright: Copyright: szefei / 123RF Stock Photo and alefbet / 123RF Stock Photo

Stop workplace germs – and buy a whole new NHS (twice over)

Twin doctors
Double value. More time, more beds, better treatment – make workplace germs go away and NHS problems go away too

Relax, stop worrying. We really can have a whole new NHS twice over – just by eliminating workplace germs.

Big numbers?

Sure.

Which just shows you how much money leaks away when germs get the upper hand.

Get ready for some jaw-dropping math.

According to the NHS’s own figures, planned expenditure for 2016/17 is £120.611bn.  On top of which is the current deficit – a whopping £2.45 billion.

Black hole, about to go away

Put the two together, and you get £123.061 billion.

Double it, and that comes to £246.122 billion.

OK, so putting the NHS to one side for a moment, how about this?

The fact that being sick off work costs British employers a monumental £29 billion, according to business experts PWC.

And even worse, that “presenteeism” – when people are unwell but come to work anyway – costs TEN TIMES that – a mind-boggling £290 billion.

More than double present NHS bankroll needs – with around £44 billion in change – about what British businesses pay in corporation tax.

Uh huh.

Reaching for the impossible

So what kind of magic wand would it take to disappear Britain’s combined off sick and unwell at work costs? Impossible, right?

Not exactly.

Sure, it’s not just germs that make people take off sick – or struggle through the working day. There’s musculoskeletal problems, like back pain and neck ache. Stress, depression and mental anguish. All medical, but not germ-related.

But around 85% of us agree that the major cause of working life grief is minor ailments. Colds, flu, tummy bugs, that sort of thing.

And 85% of £290 billion is..?

You guessed it, £246 billion. The cost of launching a whole new NHS twice over – all caused by germs.

Which says, stop the germs – and we stop £246 billion every year going down the plughole.

Basically impossible, right?

WRONG!

All hyped up, safe and secure

By misting up workplaces daily with ionised hydrogen peroxide after staff have gone home – all viruses and bacteria are eliminated, oxidised to nothing.

Next morning, when staff come in, the whole place is sterile. To a Log-6 Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% germs gone.

Yeah OK, people bring in fresh germs with them. On their skin and clothing, from whatever they might have wrong with them – and their own personal germ cloud.

But the germ threshold is zero at start the day, so any cross-contamination is minimised. Fewer germs to catch, less chance of feeling off colour – productivity nudges closer to 100%.

Press button easy

And the miracle machine that does all this?

It’s not a miracle at all, it’s a Hypersteriliser. A wheelie-bin sized automatic unit that ensures maximum dispersal of safe, low concentration, germ-killing hydrogen peroxide – the same stuff our own bodies produce to fight infection.

And it spreads across all surfaces and behind them, into all cracks and crevices, and throughout all airspace. Actively forced there by electrostatic charge.

Contact time for destroying germs is only seconds, though dispersal does take time, depending on room size. Forty minutes usually, and you’re done. The whole place is sterile.

Clawing money back from germs

Which neatly plugs productivity losses caused by absenteeism and presenteeism together. Effectively releasing one-third more work capability without extra cost.

The trick now of course is to persuade employers to donate all this money to the NHS.

They can certainly afford it.

And with sick leave absences down by 85%, the demands on the system will be so much less too. Shorter waiting times in A&E. More beds available. Adequate time for intricate surgery. Generous time for recovery under care.

So if a staff member does go down with something, they’ll be treated quicker and back sooner.  And that goes for all the other ailments too. The musculoskeletal jobbies and that lot. Because we’re all of us susceptible.

Including that heavyweight MD with the bad back that puts her out of action three days in ten. There’s a whole new NHS waiting ready to look after her. In fact, two for the price of one.

And hello, hello, the doctor WILL see her now.

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Why aren’t we warned that antibiotics can make us fat?

Doc holding ABX
Not the lifesavers we think they are – they’re why we’re fat, and why we’re going to die in twenty years’ time

We get warned about other issues.

About antibiotic resistance, for instance.

That bacteria are rapidly becoming immune to our cure-all wonder drugs.

That soon doctors will not be able to treat even everyday infections. Superbugs will have won the day and medicine will return to the Dark Ages.

An antibiotic apocalypse

Yes, very true. And it’s right that we’re warned. An “antibiotic apocalypse” as Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England calls it. A threat on par with terrorism and climate change.

She’s not wrong. Except that alarm about antibiotics failure is the big stick medics are using to obtain funding to develop new ones.

Government money, that is. Drug companies won’t finance it themselves – there’s no money in it. Widespread resistance means new drugs must be used as little as possible. They’re kept for emergencies when the older drugs fail.

So the whole business of developing a new drug and bringing it to market as soon as possible no longer has legs. Bacteria can become resistant in as little as six months, and the whole investment is down the tubes.

So the idea is to push the scare tactic.

Shake the government tree for around £890 million of taxpayer’s money. An incentive for some developer to take a gamble on a new product with an unmet need. Basically a bribe.

Not going to happen, is it?

Too public, too obvious, and too fraught with failure.

The 240,000 tonne money maker

Besides, why should a drug company take risks on new products when they’re already making a fortune on the old ones?

No, no, not as medicines. As growth promoters in agriculture. Because since researchers first noticed it in the 1950s, antibiotics have become the most phenomenal growth boosters worldwide.

In the last twenty years particularly, antibiotics in animal feed have reached industrial levels. 240,000 tonnes currently and set to rise another 70% by 2030. Prompting the rise of the factory farm or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). Vital support for rocketing world population, which itself has risen threefold to 7½ billion.

Yeah, so new drugs? Forget it. Ker-chunk, ker-chunk factories are working flat out all they can to keep pace with demand for the old ones. Sorry, no time for research, too busy making money. 240,000 tonnes worth of it.

And why weren’t we warned? Because it had nothing to do with us? Has nobody noticed we’re getting fatter?

Yes, they have. And they’re all keeping schtum about why.

Super-duper growth boosters

You see, twenty years is the same time scale in which our horrendous obesity epidemic has reared up. Today, two thirds of adults are either overweight or obese –  so are a third of our kids.

And all of that time we’ve been eating from food sources deliberately laced with antibiotics to boost growth. From egg to roasting chicken in six weeks. From new born calf to Aberdeen Angus steak in 14 months.

On top of which manure from the same animals is used to enrich soil and boost plant growth. So that everything we eat, animal or vegetable, contains residual antibiotics. Every mouthful we take includes traces of the most successful growth booster of all time.

We ourselves are all eating antibiotic fatteners!

Uh huh. So why aren’t we warned?

Why aren’t we told that the reason we’re fat is not junk food, or sugary drinks, or a low exercise lifestyle?

Not natural gluttons

In thousands of years, the human body has regulated itself according to conditions. Wasting away in famine, yes. But seldom ballooning out in times of plenty. And certainly never in an epidemic like we have now.

So why aren’t we warned that just like animals, antibiotics send our food demands into overdrive? That they make appetites insatiable? And that just like animals, antibiotics make our systems absorb too much? Extracting too much nutrition and making too little waste?

We’re not naturally gluttons. Not naturally addicted to high octane, quick energy food and drink – which is what we’re accused of.

But that is what we have become. Our gut bacteria twisted by antibiotics into never being satisfied and always being hungry. Always on the lookout for a quick hit for our induced addiction.

Because pigging out on lettuce leaves will just not crack it. We’re strictly on the mainline stuff. Burgers, chips, kebabs, pizza, ice cream, chocolate, cake – all the good Mary Berry things. And all the no-nos on Jamie Oliver’s list.

Fat and fatter, that’s us.

Yet never once are we warned, despite the evidence on food farms worldwide. Though doctors already know that antibiotic medicines at a young age frequently trigger obesity by four or five.

We get blamed, it’s our fault. And our indulgent lifestyle that’s pushing us further into obesity. To the long-term killer consequences of diabetes, asthma, cancer and heart disease.

Thought antibiotics were lifesavers? We should have been warned. Made aware of a health hazard, just like cigarettes. With big bold death notices on the front of every box.

They might rescue us today – from a chest infection or surviving a heart transplant – if the bacteria don’t become resistant first.

Dead, or dying

But twenty years down the line we get the bill. A bulbous hunk of blubber on intravenous drips and breathing oxygen. Going down for the last time because of something we never knew was happening to us.

We never were – and we aren’t now.

Why aren’t we warned?

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Now antibiotics aren’t working so good, we’ve all got to be germ dodgers

Executive karate kick
Dodge them or catch them – germs are always everywhere, ready to take you down

That’s right. Germ dodgers, not germ catchers – the kind of people we are now.

Don’t believe it?

OK, off the top of your head, when was the last time you washed your hands?

Be honest, because it’s not a trick question. It might come as a shock if you’re out and about, like most of us are.

Once we get into the day, we’re all wrapped up in what we’re doing. So washing hands isn’t even on the radar – unless of course, we need the loo.

Which means it’s actually possible – as you sit down to a night out in a restaurant – that you haven’t hit soap and water since you left home this morning. Like all of us, busy, busy, busy. Unless our hands don’t LOOK clean, we don’t even think about it.

False security

Sure, we know about germs and things, but we’re not really too worried. Life around us is clean and hygienic most of the time. Fresh, drinkable water. Efficient sewerage. Rubbish regularly taken away. Homes spotless and hoovered once a week. What’s the problem?

Because even if we do come down with some bug, our support system is pretty amazing. Either the chemist can fix us up, or our GP can. Or if it’s serious, there’s A&E. They’ll give us the medicine and we’ll be hunky dory. Antibiotics – boom, what nasty bug?

Yes well, don’t count on it being like that for too much longer.

Antibiotics are rapidly passing their sell-by date and use-by date. A lot of the time they’re past their ineffective-by date as well.

Bacteria are smart, see? With billions and billions of years’ practice at surviving whatever happens to them. A magic pill to bring them down? Sooner or later, they’ll find a way round it. Develop an immunity. Show off their antimicrobial resistance – AMR.

Bye-bye wonder drugs

Exactly the situation that’s crept up on our medical profession, while we don’t even worry a dickie-bird.

It worries the hell out them though, right to the edges of panic.

Because if antibiotics stop working, modern medicine just grinds to a halt. Big operations become impossible – even routine starts looking dodgy.

So that right now, today, it’s possible you could die from a paper cut. Without the medics being able to do a thing to save you.

And it’s already happening.

Last week with all the hoo-hah, you may have missed the news item snuck in under everything else.

About a woman in her 70s who died from carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) – a bug resistant to ALL antibiotics, including carbapenem and colistin, our two super-drugs of last resort.

“… a bad infection from such bacteria can kill you no matter how rich or famous you are, what apps you have on your phone or social media sites you frequent, what kind of walls you build, how many nuclear weapons you have…”

Which is why we’ve got to start being germ dodgers instead of catchers. Our carefree lifestyle won’t let us get away with it any more.

Sloppy hygiene can kill

Make that careLESS lifestyle – with very sloppy hygiene. Because if antibiotics can’t be around to save us, the facts are frightening:

Get the picture?

Hand hygiene is our first line of defence.

But we live in a world surrounded by germs, which is how our hands get contaminated in the first place. They don’t LOOK dirty – but unless we’ve just washed them, they’re crawling with viruses and bacteria. From door handles, light switches, touchscreens, keys, money – just about everything there is in our lives.

Dodge for our lives

Except we can dodge them too – at least in the enclosed spaces where we live most of the time. And with temperatures hovering around freezing these days, that’s seriously good news.

Yes, we still need to wash our hands – because we keep touching stuff.

But just like some bacteria can resist ALL antibiotics, ionised hydrogen peroxide can destroy ALL bacteria. And all viruses, and all fungi, and all parasites.

Sprayed as mist from a machine called a Hypersteriliser, it penetrates everywhere. Offices, restaurants, classrooms and consulting rooms – oxidising all germs to nothing.

Give it 40 minutes and the place is sterile. No germs to catch, no illness to come down with. Clever dodgers, us – nothing can touch us.

Except, yes it can – as soon as we go outside again, we pick up more germs. Which makes it like brushing your teeth, ideally it gets done daily.

Dodge germs most of the time though, and most of the time you’re safe. Like not going looking for trouble, because for sure we’ll find it.

Meanwhile it’s up to the doctors and experts to come up with alternative recovery medicine if ever we do get sick. Vaccines yes, or maybe phages.

Let’s wish them luck. Who wants to stay indoors when skies are blue and the sun comes out , nudging temperatures into the 30s? Roll on summer!

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Fat and forty? The food “Mickey Finns” that push us to obesity

Sad and overweight
Our overweight future – thanks to antibiotic Mickey Finn fat pills

One Big Mac won’t make you fat. But you can OD on them. Pushed by “Mickey Finns” that make your body always hungry.

You scoff and scoff like it’s going out of fashion. Too many calories – boom, you’re a porker.

Except it usually happens slower than that. And there’s not a hell of a lot you can do about it.

Chubby in childhood, the pounds keep piling on. Until one day, hello forty and size 16.

It’s the Mickey Finns, see?

Invisible fat pills

None of us realise we’re taking them. They’re slipped so quietly into every meal, not even doctors realise we’re on them. Every mouthful, another little dose. An unseen diet of the most efficient growth promoters on Earth.

Make no error – these are fat boosters, Big Time. Specially chosen because they bulk up bodies fast.

One, by triggering hunger pangs all the time. Two, by never letting the body decide when to stop. And three, by making the body absorb more nutrition than it’s meant to. Nowhere to go, so all that energy is stored as fat.

Nah, we’re talking rubbish, right? Nobody in their right mind would drip-feed growth boosters to the world at large. That would trigger an obesity epidemic.

Quiet please, epidemic in progress

Uh huh.

So would somebody please explain why two thirds of all adults are already seriously overweight or obese? And why one third of our kids are too?

Kinda looks like an epidemic, doesn’t it? Even our Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies, says so – though she attributes it to sugar.

Sugar as a growth booster?

If it was, there’d be farmers shovelling it into livestock as fast as they could. All those mouths to feed, see? 2½ billion of us worldwide fifty years ago – 7½ billion of us now. And all farmed off the same land area, because the planet hasn’t got any bigger in that time.

But farmers aren’t shovelling sugar, are they? It never even occurs to them.

Tell you what they are shovelling though.

Wholesale growth boosters

Antibiotics – 240,000 tonnes of them worldwide.

Which if we’ve done our maths right, works out to around 10 grams each for every one of the 19 billion chickens, 1.4 billion cattle, 1 billion pigs and 1 billion sheep that currently are required to feed us.

And guess what?

Using antibiotics to boost growth at volumes like that started back in the 70s.

Back when factory farms first took off Big Time. Or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) as the industry calls them. Where antibiotics aren’t just used as growth boosters, they’re vital to keeping animals alive in super-crowded and unhygienic living conditions.

Big money though.  From egg to roasting chicken in six weeks. From new born calf to Aberdeen Angus steak in 14 months. Jackpot!

Rise of Mickey Finns

70s, huh? When our current fat 40-year-olds  were a twinkle in their parents’ eye.

Back when baby illnesses started regularly getting treated by antibiotics. And when doctors first noticed that antibiotics given at two years old almost guaranteed overweight youngsters by five.  Even worse, when teenagers were prescribed antibiotics so often, they’d had them 17 times before they reached 20.

But how about all those animals chomping antibiotics?

Like everything else they eat, most of them get pooed out. 80% in fact, manure to enrich soil and fertilise plant crops. So it’s not just animals ingesting antibiotics, it’s plants too – fruit, cereals, grain crops, vegetables, you name it.

Animal feed crops too. So even though they get pulled off antibiotics before they’re sent to market, those animals are still noshing antibiotics with every meal. Right there in their feedstuff. Mickey Finns for animals.

Which means just about every food type in our supermarkets has antibiotic residues in it. Drip-drip growth boosters, the same as the animals get.  And just like them, we’re fattening up too.

But there’s a difference.

The Mickey Finn price tag

Animal lives are short, once they’re fat they get eaten.

Humans are there for the obesity long haul. For the overweight conditions that challenge muscles, joints and breathing.  For the type 2 diabetes. For the asthma, cancer and heart disease. All the joys that long term obesity brings.

Mickey Finns. And we thought they were Lifesavers.

Meanwhile all our heavyweight medics are running around, worrying about antibiotic resistance. Who cares if the drugs don’t work, they’re going to kill us anyway.

So how long before the penny drops and we dump them altogether?

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2017 bonus – productivity up a third with exactly the same staff

Revved-up team
When people feel well, they perform better. Help them perform all the time – you win, and so do they

Nothing to lose, you see. No coughs or colds. No sitting at a desk with a pounding headache. Productivity untouched.

All the hours you’re paying for at full strength. Easy peasy with staff revved up and going for it.

Nobody off sick while work takes a back seat.

Full performance

Nobody off-colour either. Going through the motions while they feel like death. Grumpy with customers, missing details, making mistakes but grimly determined.

No, no. None of that.

It’s your New Year’s present to them – and to yourself.

No more germs in the office.

No more picking up somebody else’s bug. No more sick days. No more off days. No more feeling less than 100%.

Up and ready, raring to go. Full of bounce and feeling good with it. On a high from being healthy and reacting to it. Ready to conquer the world.

That’s what you get when everyone’s on song. Maximum productivity, maximum efficiency, everyone motivated and WANTING to achieve – all 250 working days of the year.

Everyone worth every penny of their salary – and KNOWING they’re giving their best.

A little duty of care

And all it takes is a little extra attention. A little extra showing that their health is important – beyond cleaning the place every night, and keeping it neat and tidy. By getting rid of the germs that every workplace has – especially with lots of people all working together.

Yes, people DO get sick and need time off. Six days a year on average, according to the CIPD. And more often than not, from bugs picked up at work. Sore throat, sniffles, tummy problems – sometimes even more serious.

On top of that though, there’s all the days when people don’t feel well, but drag themselves into work anyway – what HR experts call presenteeism.

They might be there and committed, but their performance is hardly their best. How can it be, when everything is an effort, a challenge just to stay focused?

And what does that do to your business?

Not sick, not well either

According to a GCC report validated by the WHO, it affects 10 TIMES more than the standard 6 days off sick. A loss through under-powered performance of 60 days productivity – on top of the necessary absence. A total of 66 days that affects ALL OF US, not just the unlucky ones.

Which makes getting rid of germs a vital business necessity.

Around one-third of staff productivity is riding on it. Money that you’re already paying out, but getting nothing for. Cash that should be bank-rolling new projects and enabling new projects – instead of being wasted on cough, splutter, sneeze.

It’s so easily fixed too.

Every treatment of your workplace by a Hypersteriliser machine eliminates ALL viruses, bacteria, fungi and mould. First thing in the morning the place is sterile. Safe, secure and germ-free. All oxidised to nothing by hydrogen peroxide – the same stuff our own bodies produce naturally to fight germs.

Looking after the pennies

Oh sure, it’s an expense you don’t face at the moment. You could shove it aside and keep going as you always have. And keep paying for the 66 days of lost productivity every one of your staff is costing you – including yourself. It’s money you don’t see anyway, so what the heck?

Not a lot of sense to turning your back on it though, is there?

For not much more than you’re already paying for daily cleaning, you can have reliable workplace hygiene too. Be sure of full staff performance all the time. Get full value for money from every one of your high-powered team.

Plus the inevitable bonuses when everyone’s healthy and well. More smiles, more can-do, more attention to detail, more positive attitudes.

A lot of organisations would pay big money to achieve all of those. But you can do it with just the press of a button. The one on the Hypersteriliser that starts getting rid of germs.

The one that puts a whole new perspective on your all-up productivity.

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Wellness rebates keep yielding thousands, are you getting yours yet?

Exec in chair
Sitting pretty, free from germs – with all that money in the bank

Never heard of wellness rebates?

That’s the money a business gets back when staff are NOT  sick.

Not actual cash payments, but money in the bank. That big bulge, right there on your bottom line

Five grand per staff member per year, maybe even more.

Crazy not to claim it too – because all businesses can.

Easy peasy, just by pressing a button.

All those years of paying money for staff to be ill – not actually gone, but substantially reduced. Expenses most of us never even think about, usually just accepted as a cost of doing business.

Invisible costs cut to size

All staff get ill at some time, right? It’s a fact of life.

And when that happens, you keep paying for them – even though they’re not doing any work. Their desks are empty, their job is not done – while they’re at home in bed, feeling miserable.

£522 a year that’s costing you, according to the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development). 6 days at £87 a day. That’s the median annual absence cost per employee in the private sector for 2016. It’s even more in the public sector – £835.

OK, so what do you do? Pull in temp staff to cover the gap, right? Without replacements there’s going to be holes. Which straight away doubles the sick cost to you – from £522 to £1,044.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Avoid staff going off sick, and you can save £1,044 per employee, per year.

15 staff  members passing a tummy bug around? That’s 15 times £1,044, right there. A grand total of £15,660 you’re out of pocket – paying for nothing, while staff stay home to get better.

But that’s not all.

The “presenteeism” problem

You know yourself there are times when you feel like death, but you HAVE to go to work anyway. Too much stuff to get done, or deadlines approaching. Or maybe you feel you’d better show your face – because if you don’t, there might not be a job to come back to.

OK, so you’re at work, head pounding or guts churning, but you’re going for it. Not exactly at 100%, are you? Taking longer to do stuff, not always noticing things, forgetting others, grumpy and difficult with everyone who tries to talk to you.

Uh huh. Your own experience tells you the truth of it.

You might be at your desk, but you’re under-performing. Which is how most of us are, 25% of the time. Grappling with asthma, backache, or twinges of IBS. Around 60 days a year that we’re not up to our best. What the HR people call “presenteeism” costs.

Which is TEN TIMES the days we booked off sick. And TEN TIMES the cost too – at £5,220.

Which, together with the cost of temp staff hauled in to cover – absenteeism plus presenteeism – comes to £6,264. Money you’re ALREADY PAYING OUT for one staff member per year.

And 15 staff members, because you’re all in the same office together? Do the math. That’s a whacking £93,960 – one heck of a bill to pay for basically nothing.

Getting your own back

OK, so what can you do about it? Plugging a leak like that could finance all kinds of things. Shouldn’t you be able to get some of that back?

Yes, there is. Which is what we mean by a wellness rebate. Recovering costs that are otherwise going down the drain.

Obviously you can’t recover all of it. Long term conditions like depression, COPD, or recurring migraines don’t go away – and accidents can make anybody under-powered.

But all of us are susceptible to germs – and all of us come down with some bug or other – usually when we least expect it.

That’s OK, as long as we isolate ourselves. Stay home and get better, without infecting anyone.

The trouble with germs is, they often incubate before we know they’re there. We can be carrying flu days before the first sneeze – or norovirus hours before the first violent upchuck.

Whoops, atchoo!

Meanwhile we’re contagious.

Everything we touch, everyone we talk to, can pick up whatever viruses or bacteria we have. Next thing, everyone is down with it. Bad news running a business that depends on human assets at full power all the time.

Which is where pressing the button comes in.

It’s the start button on a Hypersteriliser – a machine that destroys germs in enclosed workplaces by oxidising them with ionised hydrogen peroxide.

When staff go home, it mists up the entire place, reaching all surfaces and air spaces – even remote corners. Oxygen atoms clamp on to germs and rip them apart. In 40 minutes the whole place is sterile – to a Log 6 Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% elimination.

No viruses, no bacteria, no germs to make anyone sick. Everyone stays at 100% performance. And you’ve just saved yourself a massive chunk of £6,264 – or £93,960 if there’s 15 of you together in the office.

Not had a wellness rebate yet? Get on to your cleaning company and make waves. Or get a Hypersteriliser of your own.

At the rate you’re saving, it’ll pay for itself within weeks. Your staff will be bouncing around, full of the joys of spring. And you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

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