We are always ready to jump on the newest bandwagon. Why don’t we question things before diving into the latest irrational “seems like a good idea”?
For example, our germaphobe society swears by the gospel of hand sanitizers and antimicrobial everything, particularly in the winter months. But what folks either do not realize or know is that an overly sanitized world is the perfect breeding ground for superbugs. A little benign dirt is not dangerous to most folks.
Please do not get your panties into an uncomfortable bunch. After all, we do not advocate the practice of allowing your rugrats to crawl around on filthy floors. But what we have noticed is that crawling around on the floors or carpets in your home is not necessarily an illness-inducing activity. A little dirt can immunize the urchins, but a near-sterile environment endangers them.
Keep in mind this advice comes from a mother who frequently washed her and her children’s hands. And, if they touched pets, then the scrubbing was applied in earnest. But, it is possible to learn lessons and adapt to a more common sense approach. Mind you, knowing is one thing, but the application of such knowledge is an uphill battle.
Years ago, a co-worker battled pancreatic cancer. His doctor gave him some sound advice. “After you wash your hands, never touch the faucet with those cleaned hands. Use a paper towel to turn off the water and to open the restroom door. Otherwise, the germs hop right back on your hand along with other people’s crud as well.”
A female co-worker seemed to carry cleanliness one step beyond common sense. When she went to the restroom, she always scrubbed her hands as if she were a doctor preparing for surgery. Then she would do her business and repeat the extensive cleansing process. Good thing she did not feel the need to shower before going potty.
In a medical treatment environment, we see nurses and patients press the pump on ubiquitously placed hand sanitizers. Has anyone considered cleaning the top? It is unlikely. We touch germ-laden pumps and add to the germ pile.
As you can see, the ingrained aversion to germs is part of this writer’s psyche.
One of our granddaughters is a lifeguard. The stories she tells of adults at the pool whose actions and words cause her to question their maturity.
Safety procedures require the pool area cleared if there is lightning. While everyone waits for the all clear signal, parents pester the lifeguards.
“Why can’t we get back in the pool?”
“Because there is lightning and it is dangerous to be in the pool,” the exasperated lifeguard replies.
“How soon can we get in the pool?”
“When the danger of lightning is over.”
Adults bring children to the public pools who do not know how to swim and leave them unattended. The grownups are on their phones or chatting with friends. The lifeguard must remind parents countless times to watch their children. She wonders why they even had children when they fail to care for them.
A similar situation frequently occurs at a local lake. Families flock to the lake. The children play unsupervised in the water while the parents visit, and forget to watch the children in the water. Because of this practice, almost every weekend during the summer, a child drowns. Sometimes adult relatives who also cannot swim, try to save the child, and drown as well.
Our final example of questionable behavior comes from the recent Army-Navy football game.
As the camera pans the students from West Point and Annapolis in the stands, it shows some of our future naval and military commanders behaving in a less than dignified manner. Yes, they are college kids. But what General or Admiral would want that “college kid” moment flashed on a screen while addressing their people under their command?
Look around. You will see countless situations that lead us to ask “Why are you doing that?”