I haven't posted a worry of the week for a while and since I have to come up with 30 days of posts, this is the result. MRSA seems to be replacing last year's Bird Flu scare. Now that they have sent people into a state of panic, the experts are now urging us to be calm and just wash our hands. MRSA is a very serious drug resistant bacteria that killed 19,000 people last year. Most cases are confined to hospital settings, but have been appearing in the community.
I am not a scientist or a doctor, so I don't want to get into detail here, but you can read about it here and here. From what I have read you need to keep your hands clean and if you have something that looks funky, run to the doctor. This type of information drives me crazy because I have a mild germ phobia that I try to keep under control. It became worse as my first child was born and I had to bite my tongue to keep from screaming at visitors, "Wash your hands before touching my baby, you filthy pig!" I think having boys helps you control your urge to keep everything clean, because they are filthy most of the time. In case you are a little neurotic, I wanted to share some of the weird things I do to avoid germs that may or may not work:
1. Go ahead and take your child to one of those indoor play areas if you want to spend the weekend with a sick child. If you must, go early in the morning after the equipment has been supposedly cleaned.
2. I never pick the first item on a shelf, always the one further back. I figure it's been handled less and I wash any canned food items.
3. Pick a shopping cart that is outside; the cold or the sun's ultraviolet light may have killed some of the bacteria.
4. Your local pharmacy should have a biohazard sign. My husband whispers, "stop embarrassing me" as I cover my hands with my shirt while paying and then ask the Pharmacist to throw the prescription to me while I stand at a safe distance near the humidifiers.
5. This is where things get complicated; I also avoid using harsh household cleaners because I fear the chemicals used in them. The Green Guide has an article about more eco-friendly options, but if you have a colony of MRSA living in your house, I'm not sure if these eco-friendly options work. I read somewhere about using food grade hydrogen peroxide, but I have not been able to find it. Does anyone else have any information on products to use?
6. Schedule doctor's appointment early, especially for your children and avoid leaving your purse on the floor.
7. Run around like Captain Hook and use The Handler or just use your kid's hook from their Captain Hook costume and really get people's attention.
8. Your kitchen sink is evil and dirty; treat it as such.
I know there is more, but now my mind is thinking of all the bacteria mocking me in the sink. Do you have any germ avoidance techniques?
Today I am thankful for; soap.