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.
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:
- 62% of men and 40% of women NEVER wash their hands after going to the toilet.
- 95% of people don’t even wash their hands properly.
- Only 12% of people wash their hands before eating.
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!
Picture Copyright: slplondon / 123RF Stock Photo