Ignorance was bliss

Funny where information turns up on the Internet. Like when you’re checking the weather details on your favorite weather website and it features the latest health information from WebMD, a well-known and reliable source for such things.

I mention this, naturally, because I just checked out the weather and found a list of six daily habits that may make your sick. Feel free to go ahead and guess what they are, if you want, but I’m about to list them. Tada!

1. Using a sponge
2. Vacuuming
3. Sleeping with pillows and a mattress
4. Grilling meat
5. Opening your windows
6. Sitting in front of the TV

Come on. Really? Who hasn’t heard about how gross kitchen sponges are or how carcinogenic grilled meat is? We still use sponges, and I don’t know a soul who quit grilling meat because of that carcinogen thing. Some things in life are just too good to give up.

Anyone with allergies knows the hazards of vacuuming and opening windows. You pays your money and you takes your chances, right? (Besides, I don’t vacuum enough for that to be much of a hazard.)

And we’ve already heard about the hazards of sitting in front of the TV, although in this case they don’t mean getting irradiated or going blind like your mother told you. Or mine did, anyway. They mean, of course, the lack of exercise induced by sitting in front of the TV. Poor health experts; they must be blue in the face by now trying to warn us all about obesity. Constantly! (I heard them the first time.) They and we would be a lot happier if they’d just stop belaboring the obvious. Let me enjoy my TV, for pete’s sake!

The item that really got my attention was #3, sleeping with pillows and a mattress. But who sleeps without them? was my first thought. Then, being one of those cursed with allergy problems, I thought about allergies. Aha! says I. I already have hypoallergenic pillow cases on my pillows. But no, although allergens are part of the story and I have failed by not having such cases on my mattress and box springs as well, there was more. Much more:

The average person sheds about 1.5 million skin cells per hour and perspires one quart every day even while doing nothing, says Tierno. The skin cells accumulate in our pillows and mattresses and dust mites grow and settle.

Yeah, yeah, I know about perspiration, skin cells, and dust mites. So?

If that’s not gross enough for you, Tierno explains that a mattress doubles in weight every 10 years because of the accumulation of human hair, bodily secretions, animal hair and dander, fungal mold and spores, bacteria, chemicals, dust, lint, fibers, dust mites, insect parts, and a variety of particulates, including dust mite feces. After five years, 10% of the weight of a pillow is dust mites. This is what you’re inhaling while you sleep.

OMG! Yuck! Gross! Ewwww!! I need an all new bed and pillows now. Now! Today! I’m already at 7 years and counting!

Oh, wait. Have you priced a good queen-sized set recently? (Your princess-in-residence only sleeps on the best.) I guess I have no choice but to continue living in filth. “They” were right; ignorance was bliss.

All I wanted to know was the weather forecast.

 

6 comments

  1. Sorry, PT, but this one is bringing out the Andy Rooney in me again. 😆

    For stuff like this I opt for common sense. Yes, allergies are a growing problem in our society, but my sense of it is the reverse of what Web MD implies about it. Allergies are a growing problem because people are growing up too clean and in a fog of anti-bacterial products and anti-biotics. It’s a huge mistake to want to put anti-bacterial stuff in hand soap and it works just fine without it. MRSA and the like are a huge looming problem. Anti-biotics are grossly mis-used in the meat industry, I understand, not just to combat disease but because they have a salutary effect on rapid weight-gain. Kids raised on farms amid the mud and offal, or with pets, are much less prone to allergies.

    I have read that a good way to sanitize dish rags and sponges is to wet and nuke them in the microwave. My wife uses a little “Shark” mechanical sweeper instead of a vacuum – it seems to pick up everything, all without moving air. As for grilling meat, I know millions are just nuts about it, but a pan-seared steak indoors tastes just as good to me, and it’s way less trouble. TV? We have only about a half-dozen shows we think are still worth watching, and that doesn’t include any “reality” shows. I think the solution to that problem is to make a firm commitment to a regular exercise regime.

    There, see. Problems all gone. Poof. Dust mites? No problem – they are MY dust mites, thank you very much.. 😆

    1. I agree our society has gone way overboard on the issue of antiseptics, antibiotics, pristine cleanliness, etc. I tend to think some allergens and common bacteria in the mix probably help build resistances. In other words, there’s such a thing as too clean. Plus, a lot of the concern is driven by advertising, marketing, and the press. I find things rarely are as good or as bad as the media make them out to be. If all those germs didn’t kill me in my first 30 years, before everything was overly antiseptic and super sanitized, they probably aren’t going to now. I can only be afraid of so many things at once, and germs in general are at the back of the line.

  2. Maybe if people played in the dirt more and weren’t “protected” quite so much there would be fewer health issues? Funny how people got along so well without so much interference by people out to save you…oh, they have to justify those jobs and grant money spent?
    This post was real.

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