|Good health is germ free health. Use the dispenser to keep hands clean. For everyone's sake.|
I hate Microbiology. It's really ruined my life (note: I'm being somewhat sarcastic here) because I now fear bugs. Bugs/germ/pathogens/bacteria/viruses/evil dudes are everywhere! After learning all about microbes this past year, I know more than I care to know. Sometimes I wish I were my old naive self, not knowing about the scary microbes all around me, living a more laissez-faire life. Instead of this new microbe-fearing gal. :P
I saw this poster on the University of Toronto campus and it made me laugh (and cry) at the same time. I have mixed feelings towards its message.
It's true that there are some scary critters out there and that they can pose serious harm on your health, but this poster encourages a dramatic and exaggerated fear in those who read it. The poster also did well in the whole "fear me" department (it made me cry!).
Where I disagree: germ free health is not the pinnacle of health. Today we actually do live fairly germ free due to our obsessive love of sanitizers, soaps, and cleaning agents... and this love has cause a whole plethora of other health complications (as hypothesized by the Hygiene Hypothesis) like asthma, allergies (food and airborne), eczema, autoimmune diseases, etc. Also, in our gut alone lives millions of microorganisms... and we most definitely need our gut micro flora for good health! So, no poster, you are wrong, germ free health is not good health.
What I do like about this poster is the "for everyone's sake" line. It's true that public health is important. This is why we are taught at a very young age to cover our mouths when we cough; it's not for our own safety, but for the health of those around us. Remember that most microbes need human hosts; without somewhere to live, they can't survive. Thus when germs can't spread, they can't live.
Lastly, I am on the fence on the role of hand sanitizers. I much prefer good 'ol hand washing to stay clean. I worry that the sanitizers create super bugs by encouraging bacterial resistance. I also think they promote a false sense of security: most hand sanitizers only kill bacteria (they are anti-bacterial), not viruses!
P.S. If you live in Ontario, please consider participating in the Ontario Health Study. You'll get a free $10 gift card for participating... and you'll support the greater good because public health research is so important!
P.P.S. Final year-two grades were posted. I successfully passed my courses. Which means, onwards to year three!