Just possibly the craziest thing we do is all live together.
We all want be on top of each other, gathered in tight groups – 37 million in Tokyo, 20 million in New York City, 8.5 million in London – crowds and crowds of us in cities all over the world.
Are we nuts?
How on earth did we decide to do this? It’s not what our bodies are designed for. Physically we’re still hunter-gatherers, meant to be living out in the open. Clustered in groups, yes – but only large enough to ensure survival when very young or old.
Worse, we choose to live in enclosed environments – always surrounded by walls.
Of course, we don’t see it like that, prettied up with windows and doors and décor and bric-a-brac – in fact we kind of like it. Reality is though, that we’re most of the time sealed off from the world outside.
Hemmed in and forced to react with each other, our metabolisms interlink too. All of us in hives, sharing a common existence.
Except we don’t, do we?
We’re not the same
We don’t do the same things, share the same interests, eat the same foods, or follow the same lifestyle. Neither do our bodies – each of which it totally unique and different.
Which boggles the mind when you think of how germs impact on us. Especially since we’re more germs than human ourselves – inhabited by 90 trillion microbes, which outnumber our own body cells by around 10 to 1.
Uh, huh. You understand now why medics see us as so many different biological signatures. The bacteria that colonise one are not the same as those that colonise any other. Our bio-auras are different.
We walk around trailing our unique bacteria-clouds with us, each as distinctively different as our fingerprints and retina scans. Count on it, in the future, CSI forensic teams will be able to ID us by the bio-traces we leave behind – like recognising our perfume, but 100% more pin-point.
Thing is though, with all these bacteria-systems overlapping, we’re constantly exposed to an intensified spectrum of germ challenges – way more than our immune systems would face if we were living out in the sticks where we started.
OK, fine – as long as everything is neutral.
But as soon as one of us gets a cold, it tips the balance.
Now just maybe we grew up with our immune systems exposed to colds on such a regular basis, our resistance is higher than anyone else’s. We’re OK, nothing to worry about.
But the Tom, Dick or Harriet living right alongside in our 8.5 million cluster might not have such resistance. The cold – let’s give it its real name, rhinovirus – hits them the way it could never hit us.
And down they go. Cough, sneeze, splutter, gasp.
Yeah, OK. This is where the Good Germs, Bad Germs philosophy comes in – that the body has the resources to fight back – just isolate it at home and let nature takes its course, with proper rest, food and hydration.
Except the dynamic doesn’t work like that when we’re living on top of each other. And not from the germ’s point of view either – we’re germs ourselves remember?
Crowd rules are different
Individually and separately that might make sense. But with 8.5 million of us so close together we can feel each other breathing, our germ-clouds interact way too fast for that.
In the 10 days it takes for the rhinovirus to incubate itself, we’ve passed it on maybe hundreds of times to others whose immune systems are not so acclimatised. And the closer we are, the faster it works.
Which is how a cold goes round a school so fast, your head spins. Well what do you expect, when the kids spend six hours a day together in the same classroom?
Of course we don’t think of all this – it sits at the back of our minds as a kind of brooding concern about hygiene. We do try to do something though – which is where the mop and bucket brigade come in at the end of the day, scrubbing and wiping everything down – and following up with a vacuum cleaner.
Under-responding if you think about it – and basically for surfaces only.
Because the kids might have gone – and their germ-clouds with them. But their bio-trace is still in the air. So are residual touches of the rhinovirus they have in them. Able to survive for weeks at a time and waiting to attach to new bodies when class resumes in the morning.
Yeah, it’s good to let things be natural and let them take their own course. Our own bacteria in balance with the rest of the world – what’s possibly wrong with that?
Bigger populations, bigger threats
But living on top of each other accelerates everything – multiplying its effect in a pressure cooker of fast-acting bio-clashes. Today rhinovirus, tomorrow Ebola.
And how do we deal naturally with that? By withdrawing and isolating, going into quarantine. Not wrong, but difficult to find space for with 8.5 million people on top of each other.
Since we can’t go round asking each bacteria if it’s good or bad for us, we have to clobber the lot. We already recognise this, which is why we’re attacking the place with detergent and bleach.
But if we’re going to do it properly, we’ve got to include the air too. Fish where the fish are – in this case, the micro-organisms so small we don’t even know that they’re there.
Which is why we keep banging the drum for ionised hydrogen peroxide – the one sure way to remove ALL viruses and bacteria totally from the room you’re treating.
Ionised – a different dynamic
And we mean IONISED hydrogen peroxide – not that vapoury stuff you might have experienced before – that double-strength fog that gets pumped in to oxidise germs, and then has to be dried out afterwards.
Remember your school magnetism? It’s the same effect, but multiplied several hundred times in the Hypersteriliser.
Ionising electrifies the hydrogen peroxide particles with the same negative charge, causing them to repel each other. Like a super-gas, actually a plasma – it spreads up and out, under and into, actively trying to get away from itself.
That same charge aggressively reaches out and grabs at viruses and bacteria which have the opposite polarity. Oxygen atoms are released that tear their cell structure to shreds. The charge dissipates – and all that’s left is oxygen and water.
No germs, nothing. Sterilised safe.
Safe, not sorry
OK, yeah. It’s overkill. Brute force tactics.
But with millions to protect, not just a handful, isn’t it better to shoot first and ask questions afterwards?
Because it’s not just you that needs protection. It’s the person next to you, and next to them, and next to them – some with stronger metabolisms, some with weaker – millions of times over.
With all germs gone, at least they stand a better chance.