Germs really bug me. I have to say it. Not themselves, mind you, but more people's reactions to germs. Like this year, with the H1N1 scare on top of the usual seasonal bug issues. Germophobia is running rampant, and it's getting out of control.
According to the CDC, as of November 14th 2009 there were between 7,070 and 13,930 deaths from H1N1 in the 7 months since it started showing up. Nothing to sneeze at, granted, but in a similar time frame over 70,000 deaths due to a stroke occur (from the CDC also). My point is, there are bigger issues to be worried about than novel H1N1.
And yet, it's become a perfectly good reason to act rude and treat humans as walking germs. This week especially, I've had the wonderful experience of having some customer service person see me waiting, look me in the eye, stop, incessantly slather their hands in Purell, and then finally address me. Because, yes, I am obviously a walking, talking, culture of H1N1 or some other bug du jour. Thanks. There's cleanliness and hygiene, but for freaking sake there's also courtesy. I am not sneezing. I am not coughing. I do not have oozing pustules. My eyes are not watering, red, puffy, blood-shot or anything out of the ordinary. I even bathed today. So can everyone please stop acting like they're going to die if they touch anything I've had in contact with me.
I think we have to fear this current fanaticism of physical seclusion far more than any influenza.
Oh, and a belated blessed Solstice! May the new solar year bring many great things!