Moonlighting: Germs

March 15, 2012

 

Judy Cools

By JUDY COOLS

mcp blogger

 

Germs need to be some unmistakable color. I’m thinking hideous fluorescent pink would be good. Just think of all the possibilities!!

 

Jimmy… Did you wash up for dinner? Let me see your hands…” The days of trying to scam Mom would be over, big time. What about that doorknob, light switch, grocery cart – are you certain you want to touch it?

 

If germs were bright pink, you might do some purging in the kitchen. Out goes the cutting board. Out goes the can opener. The kitchen sponge and the dishtowel are definitely gone. Do we even need to discuss the contents of the refrigerator or the color of the water in the kitchen sink?

 

Think about public spaces, if germs didn’t hide. I don’t mean just the obvious places like rest rooms and public transit. Restaurant tables and buffets could be germy, and we’d never know. The pen you use to sign your credit card slip might have been handled by three dozen coughing, sneezing, hard-working, sweating, baby-diapering people before you get it at lunchtime. Yeccch!

 

That’s just the places. What about public places that are full of people? Each one of us collects stuff on our hands, our jeans, our shoes all day long. Purses sit on floors. Jackets end up just about everywhere. How many glowing pink germs do you think you’d find in a movie theater crowd by the end of the weekend? How many on a handshake at a Business After Hours or at a public meeting? Germs do not even respect the sacred; how many are lurking there in church when you turn to wish peace to those around you? It boggles the mind.

 

So why aren’t we all sick, all the time? That’s the good news. First off, we have our immune systems which offer us some defense against an infection. We also have a better awareness of where germs lurk than what we did years ago, so we’ve become a little more careful. We know that the scrubbing action of hand-washing is as important as the soap. Gradually we’re learning that we really shouldn’t touch our eyes, nose, or mouth with our hands when they are anything but freshly washed, so we don’t infect ourselves with some germ we’ve picked up during the day.

 

All right, I admit the world would probably be pretty disgusting if the germs were all bright pink. But it might be good for a day or a week, just so we could understand the hazards better. The bad news for me? Keyboards ranked as one of the highest germ-carriers used in daily settings. The other was cell phones. Sigh…. I’m doomed.

 

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