Congratulations. Your body has just survived exposure to 29,743,987,435 germs.
That’s about how many surround you at any one time.
And congratulations. Thirty seconds later, and you’ve just done it again.
Only this time it’s 32,867,201,591 germs. And no, they’re not the same ones.
They just keep coming and coming and your body has to cope with this onslaught every second of every day.
Don’t believe it?
When was the last time you stood waiting in the Underground, and your face got blasted with dust?
And how many dust particles do you reckon that was? 8 million? 80 million?
OK, now your average virus or bacteria is probably around a million times smaller than a single speck of dust.
Smaller than the pollen that gives you hay fever. Smaller than the particles in cigarette smoke. Smaller than droplets of water vapour in a cloud. So really, really tiny, it’s why you can’t see them at all.
But they’re there alright.
You wouldn’t walk into a room full of people with bird flu, would you? But you can’t see the bird flu. So how do you know it’s there?
But it’s not just the bird flu you have to worry about. It’s the 23,849,362,072 other viruses and bacteria floating around. By the way congratulations. You’ve just survived again.
But what if you didn’t?
What if you forgot to wash your hands , just the once? Or breathed something in? Or did something stupid like the philosopher Sir Francis Bacon back in 1626?
Famously in March of that year, he was driving in his carriage when it occurred to him to check out how coldness might affect the decay of meat. He stopped, bought a chicken, had the guts pulled out, and crouched down on the ice to stuff it full of snow, right there and then.
Spot the mistake?
Yeah, he caught a chill so bad that he couldn’t go home. So they took him to his pal’s house, the Earl of Arundel, put him to bed. It didn’t help. The chill became pneumonia and the poor bloke conked on 9th April.
Oh, and by the way, congratulations again.
Maybe now you’ve got some idea of how much hazard we all face, every single day. And it gets worse when we’re all together.
Some of us are healthier than others. And as we know well, very often the sick ones pass on their germs. Because the one particular bug is more concentrated in their system and ready to invade.
So down we come with the bug and we didn’t even do anything!
Because, as we have known since the Nineteenth Century – only 200 years after Bacon’s time – ALL germs die if we clobber them with hydrogen peroxide.
And if we get clever with Twenty-First Century technology, we can spray it up in the air in an ultra-fine mist and knock out every single one of them in an average room in just 20 minutes.
No congratulations this time because there aren’t any germs any more. The place is sterile.
Still cause for celebration though.
For the first time in history, you’re safe. You can’t get ill because nothing can touch you.
So why don’t we do this all the time – in schools, restaurants, hotels, offices, everywhere?
No idea, you tell us.
Which makes us just as stupid as Sir Francis. All of us.
Why let disaster happen when you don’t have to?
Better stay off the chicken and bacon – just in case.
But at least you’re safe =- at least for now.
Because there’s one more thing.
You have to keep at it with the hydrogen peroxide because the germs come back.
People bring them in on their clothes, or let them waft in when they enter.
So congratulations again. You just survived another 35,987,061,362 potential infections.
But you could get awfully hammered, celebrating all the time.
Originally posted 2014-09-09 13:19:25.