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Of Germs and things
Written by John   
Monday, 08 May 2006

So, these hand sanitizer things are everywhere...

And it seems to me that, while well intentioned (and I do want you to wash your hands before you touch my food), I think that for the most part it's not such a good idea.

You see, the thing is, like every part of you your immune system is designed to be used.

If you sit on your rear end - and don't exercise - your muscles get weak and lazy.  The same applies to your brain, and, in my opinion (and I'm not a doctor - nor do I play one on TV...) your immune system is the same. 

Use it or loose it...

That's what the health nuts say.  Exercise or be weak.

Well, if you kill all the germs before they get in, what on earth will your immune system have to work on?

This article, on MSN.COM, particularly annoys me. 

Scare mongering, to get people to buy anti-bacterial soaps, is going to prove very harmful to people.

When you get a tummy ache, or a cold, or something, it's a good sign typically.  It shows you that you're immune system is doing its job. A strong immune system will leave you LESS likely to catch something, or to get really sick from it.  That's the theory from the old school "take your vitamins" school of thought.

I can't tell you how many times over the course of my life that I've taken a slice of pizza off the box that had been left out over night.  Did I get sick?  Never.  Not even once.

Your immune system is an intelligent system.  It has a memory - and it is for that reason that vaccinations work.  If you catch it once, you'll be very less likely to get it again. 

Now, I'm not saying you should run around licking a cutting board that was just used to hack up a raw chicken, but use common sense. Don't turn your immune system into a couch potato by getting every type of artificial help you can find on the store shelves

Oh, and drink more beer.  There is no know human pathogen that has been shown to live naturally in beer. 


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