The mythical paranoia of hygiene
Society has imposed very high standards of sanitation on itself after the impacts of COVID-19. The importance of washing hands and the use of hand sanitizer is still present, even though it is not as prevalent as during the height of the pandemic. We are constantly told to put these hygiene products on our hands, without really understanding what they are in their totality. There is a fear of what could happen if these standards of hygiene are not maintained, a vague sense of danger from what could appear from the cesspool of unclean hands. The remaining fear from the pandemic has caused the overuse of hygiene products that are meant for specific occasions.
The dangers of sanitation
COVID-19 has stoked our fears of what we cannot see. Man’s greatest fear is of the unknown, and to society the greatest unknown now is the hidden virality lurking upon the surfaces of our world. While it is true that COVID-19 could have been prevented by proper sanitation, bacteria is a part of existence without which we cannot survive. It accumulates on the surface of our skin, and it lives within us in our gut. The effort to remove bacteria and sanitize is actually an effort against ourselves and our nature.
Hand soap and hand sanitizer are destructive substances for our hands. Their goal is to eliminate bacteria and filth from the surface of our hands, but the side effect is that it is destructive for the surface of the skin as well. What is supposedly a precaution for our health can actually be damaging for our health, and it is harmful for the largest organ that we have in our bodies.
So, what is this irrational fear of not having everything sanitized? Although sanitation is essential in hospitals, having be a constant part of daily life is not scientifically valid at all. It is harmful for ourselves and our skin. The same can be said for a lot of other hygienic skin products. Purity is an ideal that has been sold to us, but it is a false idol created by a false prophet. Having everything be pristine and shiny actually increases our vulnerability to diseases and viruses. Keeping everything to such a high standard of sanitation is an opportunity for bacteria to adapt into more lethal forms over time. We are unknowingly creating viruses that are more dangerous for the future every second we try to keep the whole world sanitized. It is a losing effort, because bacteria are ever-present; it is harmful for the skin and has unknown side effects; and it is only a temporary protection, because no matter how much we sanitize we cannot beat viruses created through natural selection – eventually one will appear that can bypass our sanitation and then we will have no protection.
The truth about bacteria
Sanitation should be used, but situationally and sparingly. It is counterproductive to use it all the time with no limits. Our concept of dirtiness is one that is similar to the fear one has of the dark, we cannot see what lies underneath so we vilify it. As with darkness, the truth is more nuanced – the darkness is our defense against chronic blindness from the glare of the light even though it is dangerous, and the dirtiness itself is our defense against the evilest kind of bacteria that can truly destroy us.
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