Editor's Column: Inebriated germs spread more coughs and colds

I don’t know about your office, but in my office this winter the score stands at Germs 60, Hand Sanitizer 0.

The germ score is only an estimate, based on the times that severe colds have nailed me personally multiplied by our total office staff. Dating back to early December, I can recall four serious colds hitting one after the other. In fact, I’ve got one now. Listening to people walking back and forth outside my door, all I hear is coughing, wheezing and sneezing where there once were conversations. People are careful to cough into a handkerchief or their sleeve, or just dive under their desk to wait out a sneezing fit, but the germs spread anyway, and everywhere.

This year our defense was supposed to be Dial Hand Sanitizer. The company bought a generous supply in an effort to keep the staff healthy this winter. Its label brags it kills 99.99 percent of germs instantly, but fails to mention how many germs there are in the world and that by letting some live, you’re allowing cold germs to run rampant.

Germs won’t be stopped even if the other 99.99 percent of them are dead on someone’s hands, wiped out by Dial Hand Sanitizer. The survivors simply run and jump over the bodies of their brethren, vault into the air and wait to be inhaled by the overconfident person holding the Dial Hand Sanitizer.

This year I made it a goal not to have a cold on Christmas. Nothing worse than nasal drip on gift packages. So I hit the Hand Sanitizer hard, every morning, noon and evening, sometimes spreading a bit around the lips to nail the germs that make it into the air. I grew to like the stuff. After all, it’s 62 percent ethyl alcohol. No doubt it would make you sick if you drank it, but it would also make you drunk.

That’s why I think this year’s attack on germs with Hand Sanitizer has failed. The .001 percent of germs who survive the alcohol rub have to be exceedingly inebriated. They lose all inhibitions and vow to honor their dead by spreading infection at any cost.

Drunken, uninhibited germs will stop at nothing to get inhaled, flinging themselves onto telephones, computer keyboards, desk calendars, generally anywhere they might be touched. Once on your hands, the little rascals prod you into touching your lips or eyes, then leap into the body itself where it wreaks destruction in retribution for the 99.99 percent of the heroic germs who didn’t make it.

I still have half a bottle of Dial Hand Sanitizer remaining, but I’m waving the white flag. No more germ attacks will be coming from me. After the worse cold season in memory, I have to stop the offensive and go back to my old strategy of just taking what comes, leaving my health in the hands of fate.

As I see it, fate has to be kinder than a bunch of drunken germs.

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