I wonder how many people out there have ever seen bacteria, or better yet, seen a single bacterium. Interesting. Admittedly, the majority of us have never witnessed these microscopic joy-germs at work, yet thanks to what we see on health or cleanliness orientated television shows, sensationalised warnings of global pandemics and moreover, what our parents endeavour to instil in us – so called facts based primarily on what their parents instilled in them, probably resulting from preaching parents yet another generation above them, we are taught to go about our lives with a mortal fear of falling victim to the almighty bacterium.
Babies live on the ground. This is fact. We have all seen this. A baby’s mother doesn’t seem perturbed by the fact that the, once chocolate covered, now plain white and decidedly sodden biscuit on which that baby chews, has fallen out of the aforementioned’s mouth a number of times and, as onlookers see the morsel being grasped in those filthy little hands and smeared around to eventually find its way inside the cake-hole, is now covered in pet hair, dust and other miscellaneous debris that once made its home on that supposedly clean family floor. The mother isn’t worried. Other guests think its cute, even funny. More comical still, is the way that the family dog then approaches, takes half the biscuit in its mouth and playfully wrestles the baby for control, before someone steps up to give assistance, allowing the human to prevail over the canine; then what’s left of that biscuit, dog slobber and all, disappears again betwixt the baby’s eager lips. Oh, mercy, what a rollicking good time.
Adults, generally, live one to two metres above the ground. Also fact. If we were spotted rolling around on the floor holding in our unwashed hands some sort of biscuit treat, pushing then withdrawing it from our mouths; dropping it then recapturing; picking it up then sticking it along with both hands in our mouths; sharing the treat with the dog; touching its mouth then stuffing our fingers back in our own… Sure, we would shunned by all who knew us for acting like an idiot – but that’s not the point. Anybody who bore witness to such a display from anybody but an infant, would no doubt make comment something along the lines of, ‘Oh, God, yuck, that is disgusting. Think of all the germs, oh, look, it’s all dirty, oh, yuck, oh, they’re gonna get sick for sure – that is like, just, disgusting!’
Come on. Be realistic. It’s the ground. Good ol’ terra firma. We take our food from it. We take our water from it. We walk upon it. We play upon it. We live upon it. Granted, it can’t be good to eat all of our meals directly from it, but this is why human beings have immune systems; this great part of our biological constitution does its best to protect us from the World’s burgeoning array of health concerns. The immune system beats down nefarious toxins, pernicious impurities and in general, anything that our liver would otherwise deem unfit for human process but on this occasion has allowed to slip through. ‘That’s right,’ you might say, ‘and that’s why we allow our babies to be exposed to it, it helps build immunity.’ Yes, for the most part, I agree, that does make sense. So tell me, when do we stop letting our children eat germs and say, ‘Right, that’s enough immunity building for you, now it’s time to start acting like a grown up’? My ultimate question therefore, is, why can’t we keep on being unhygienic, thereby continuing to build immunity towards these inimical agents? When does ‘immunity building’ become ‘disgusting behaviour’? For example, if your food skids from your plate and hits the ground; why would you not pick it up and eat it? I’m damn sure a baby would. By the way, the 30 second rule, is bollocks. The instant any object comes within a millimetre of the ground, it becomes covered with a microscopic film of bacteria – so do you honestly think it’s only on the ground? I do understand, there’s a certain level of etiquette by which people are expected to live their lives, but really, think about it; how is poor hygiene as a grown up, any worse for someone than poor hygiene as a child. If anything, I’d say it must be better – adults have had a lifetime of bacteria fighting to inure themselves.
To me, it all appears so obvious; the rest of you, perhaps less so. So consider it; consider the reasons that we have always been told to ‘wash up’, ‘keep eating areas and especially bathrooms and toilets clean and germ-free’, ‘you must wipe away every trace of bacteria’ (which, as earlier stated, none of us regular people have even seen anyway) and so on and so forth. The more hygiene-conscious folk among us will be undoubtedly purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of cleaning, scrubbing, germ removing and so called anti-bacterial products each year; all in a vain attempt to ‘completely rid surfaces of germs’. People. For God’s sake, germs are everywhere, they’re in the air, they’re on the ground, they cover everything, they are constantly all over us; you cannot rid your house of germs. We lay our food on plates – uncovered plates I might add – in open air. Do you seriously believe you’re eating only what is on your fork? What about breathing? Again, do you think the air in your lounge room, shared with four other, possibly flatulent, family members, is unadulterated? Probably not, no; but that’s it, it’s a triviality – it doesn’t matter!
Germs, bacteria, infection and virus are everywhere. You can choose to be sucked in by corporate propaganda and buy in to the myriad anti-bacterial cleaning products that are out there; or you can trust that you as a healthy human being, will handle it.