Paranoia For Sale

Just be careful . . .

I don’t like being around paranoid people, but recent TV discussions are  honing in on my thoughts and, dang it,  I think it’d be easy to get there.   Paranoid, that is.

Three  separate TV panels have told us what an impact cleanliness has on our health.  Well, that’s old stuff:  wash our hands, as well as vegetables and fruit before we use them because we can’t know who had handled them before they get into our homes.

But, they stressed the hundreds of things we bring home, and as we put it all in their proper places, and handle each one, at the same time we scratch our faces, touch our eyes, nose head, arms, visit the bathroom,  etc. all using our hands.

However, the TV discussion also told us how many other people, coming before us, have done the same unthinking actions, beginning with the field and orchard workers, others putting the products in boxes, onto trucks, into stores, on the shelves or display racks, and then, the number of customers who pick them up to decide if they are what they want to buy, replace them if not wanted, and leave them for another to pick up and handle. 

And then, in Carts where ‘messy’ children, still babies, have been carried, we put our food choices, and it all touches every thing else.  All sides.  Finally we go to the Check-out stand where, piece by piece, it’s handled again by others and finally another person, with their hands, puts into in sacks.

We were firmly told that before ANY food, in whatever form,  reaches our tables, it’s been handled by hundreds of hands.  Shee-e-e-e-sh.

Then they went to our daily newspaper.  I thank whoever does it for me, for it’s always left  within easy reach from my door, but, they told us, we pick it up by the same spot, the open, loose end of the yellow sack,  that the Carriers used, when, in the middle of the night, they hurried  to  fold the papers,  and stuff  them into the sack.  And, if they had a cold or felt ‘lousy’ and  scratched their nose, eyes, coughed or sneezed, who was to know?   We all do these things without even thinking.

I  didn’t like  where their words took me, for  next were all the spots we touch while going in or out of  Public Rest Rooms.  Yes, we wash our hands,  but how are we to know how careful and thoughtful the people before us were as they moved in, out and around??

Once they got me going on this kind of thinking there was no end.   See, they told of the Mail Man,  God bless his soul.  The envelope started by someone who used their own hands, perhaps coughed, sneezed, sniffed, and then it went to people and machines to sort it all, toss it in boxes or whatever, and on and on and on.    Thousands of  ‘close encounters’ come  between the time the envelope left Point One and its final destination.

It scared me, for everything we pick up has a trail of hands, hands, hands from all around the world, and they pointed out how some illness in Timbucktoo can quickly become an epidemic. 

They stressed that it doesn’t matter how clean  it LOOKS, because germs cannot be seen and aren’t  noted on the Label.  Dang it,  TV’s words sent me out  to get me  a can of  germ-killing wipes, and, double-dang,  before two days had passed, (and hating myself with every step), I’d gone over every door handle, light switch, the entire bathroom (well not the walls or ceiling) refrigerator handles,  phones, and vases and any such thing that attracts the hands of both adults and children.

I didn’t like it at all, but the TV advised us to look around at people we meet, and I had to add my name to the list,  and see  if they sneeze, sniffle or whatever, for they, like it or not,  ‘picked it up’ from someone else.

The TV spokesman even advised us, when traveling, to take our own food  in freezers, and, if we need ice to cool our drinks,  to also remember that whisky or rum, etc, kills germs, but to remember, that the Ice Cubes you might order, are made from their local water.

Egad.  Don’t go as far as I did, or you won’t like yourself, either.  I  finally remembered that all that scare stuff is their job.  It’s what they’re paid to do.

I’m going to cross my fingers, wash MY hands,  put myself in GOD’S hands, and turn OFF all TV’s fear programs.  You with me?  We’ve lived this long, and might just as well go on as usual.  Careful but not paranoid.

3 thoughts on “Paranoia For Sale

  1. How very true… we just need to wash our hands. It is amazing that we were not sick all the time working on the farm…. I just don’t remember all that concern — don’t even remember all the stress of always washing your hands…Maybe sitting in the field eating dirt helped!!!!

    • Marie, I laughed aloud as I read your words about eating dirt as a child. Marie, when I got hungry and was out in the fields, I picked, or pulled what looked good, rubbed it ‘clean’ against my clothing, and ate it. When Mom said, “Go was your hands” before a meal, to me it meant dashing to the kitchen sink, sloshing my hands for two sedonds and then back to the foodl. I really think we became toughened up enough that germs didn’t dare come near us. We came of the same kind of parents. And lived. And well, too.
      I’m stlll laughing.

      Thanks, l


  2. I don’t remember all the streess of washing everything when I was young. Maybe sitting in the field eating dirt helped… who knows. However, I do agree we need to wash our hands, etc but not get carried away with everything.

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