Gransnet forums


I have succumbed to posting on AIBU!

(108 Posts)
phoenix Sat 29-Sep-18 22:34:42

Evening all, and sending every good wish.

Well, after avoiding it for yonks, I'm posting on AIBU! shock

And the reason is GERMS but mainly peoples over reaction to them.

They cannot be avoided

yes, you can decline eating crisps and other snacks when out and about, but can you avoid touching handrails on stairs, handles on supermarket trolleys, the flush handle on a toilet?

No, of course you cant.

Just think of small children, when they start to crawl, are you ensuring that every surface they encounter is entirely germ free? I somehow doubt it. Add to that their propensity for putting everything in their mouths!

Yes, of course we should all take reasonable precautions to protect ourselves, but the key word is reasonable, we shouldn't go OTT about it.

Someone I know will not touch a dog, because "they have germs" but will happily handle money, and who knows where that has been!

Sensible hygiene, washing your hands after going to the lavatory and always before preparing food should be enough, this obsession with germs is going too far, IMO.

Beau Sat 29-Sep-18 22:46:33

I agree with you phoenix - SIL recently cleaned DGS hands with a Flash antibacterial wipe because he touched the sole of a shoe ?
To me, putting antibacterial chemicals in his mouth (he's 22 months old) is worse than the germs on a shoe - we had words.
And yes, I know e-coli has been found on the soles of shoes but this obsession with germs is so exhausting.
Obviously I didn't tell SIL that DGS did a big poo in his bath tonight - he might die of horror ?

lemongrove Sat 29-Sep-18 22:51:30

Beau shock grin

lemongrove Sat 29-Sep-18 22:53:10

I stroked a dog and then ate a biscuit forgetting I had stroked him.....more germs but I will survive.Yes, there is too much worrying about germs, in fact too much worrying about everything!

MiniMoon Sat 29-Sep-18 23:04:08

I worry for this term obsessed generation. How are they ever going to build up immunity to anything without coming into contact with bacteria. I quite agree with you phoenix, a good hand washing regime is all that is needed.
A healthy immune system should be able to cope with everyday germs.

Farmor15 Sat 29-Sep-18 23:10:51

Agree with you phoenix - I think a lot of people’s fear and obsession about germs is because they can’t see them. I’m a retired microbiologist, as is my OH and our attitude to hygiene is the opposite to what you might expect. Our fridge usually has a number of out of date items, we eat all our leftovers, eventually- if heated thoroughly and don’t smell bad.

We would be careful about raw meat coming in contact with anything not going to be cooked, via knives, chopping boards, cloths etc. But best method of cleaning is hot water and detergent, not antibacterial sprays.

I’m not obsessive about hand washing either. Having done lots of experiments when teaching students, there were often more bacteria found on hands after washing than before, especially if dried with hot air dryers. If hands are damp, they’ll pick up bugs from door handles etc, more easily. The hand gels are good, but over use is not good for skin.

People who are immunosuppressed obviously need to be careful, but for most, the stress caused by worrying about germs is likely to be more harmful than the millions that we’re exposed to all the time. ?

absent Sun 30-Sep-18 04:48:12

I think a lot of the obsession about germs is also to do with endless advertising of antibacterial sprays, antibacterial wipes, antibacterial gels and so on. The "back story" is that the five plagues are imminently going to descend on your house – you pathetic and uncaring mother – and kill your children unless your kitchen and bathroom are always as clean as an operating theatre, you can eat off the toilet and everywhere else is constantly sprayed and wiped.

Day6 Sun 30-Sep-18 06:05:09

I actively encouraged my children to play in mud, dig holes, splash in puddles etc when they were young. They had their hand washed before eating food but I suspect the one who had a penchant for sucking and licking stones might as well carried on using his mucky mitts! He survived the grime and is alive and kicking and robust 30+ years later.

We've always cleaned. Most of us will wipe down surfaces and mop up spills, and keep floors and loos etc reasonably clean. I agree that advertising propaganda has haad us doubt ourselves and buy into the antibacterial/disinfectant sprays and wipes. They weren't around decades ago but we are all here to tell the tale. Many of us grew up without the luxury of continuous supplies of hot water or daily baths or showers as well.

Handwashing is important and I impress that upon my DGC when they come to stay but other than that if they get dirty when they play I don't feel any harm has been done to them.

Day6 Sun 30-Sep-18 06:06:20

Hands...both hands were washed!

Willow500 Sun 30-Sep-18 06:09:21

I admit I'm probably a bit over cautious with things like toilet door handles when out and supermarket trolleys as I have a phobia about being sick but I don't use antibacterial sprays very often and apart from the obvious precautions with my children and grandchildren as they were growing up didn't coat them with germ protection either. Most people are fast becoming dependent on all these sprays when good old fashioned soap and water would be much better - it's all to do with convenience when you think about it. We're all far more mobile than we used to be (now there's a germ ridden item if ever there was one!) so not always near a sink and water and hand dryers have taken over from the mess of paper towels which were much more effective at drying. Like War of the Worlds it will be a superbug that wipes out mankind one day! shock

Diana54 Sun 30-Sep-18 07:30:19

The risk of getting ill from bugs in your own home is low, even if you have pets and are not very good at cleaning. You and your family all have an immune system that protects you from those everyday nasties. Washing hands, normal food hygiene, cleaning and of course fresh air is all that's needed

Because we all travel, even to school or shops that's where most illnesses are picked up. If you have a damaged immune system due to previous illness, pollution or very bad living conditions, that's when special attention to cleanliness is needed.

ChaosIncorporated Sun 30-Sep-18 07:52:59

Immune systems develop healthily when the systems are challenged but it does seem impossible to convince some people that resistance is only acquired by challenge.

Of course there are limits....I would not have let my children play with faeces!... but mud pies etc part of their childhood.
That said, it isn't entirely a new obsession. I had both mumps and chicken pox as an adult because my mother kept her children firmly away from all possible illnesses.

PamelaJ1 Sun 30-Sep-18 08:13:10

I did get very OTT when I brought my DD2 out from hospital- she was 8 weeks premature, Milton everywhere!
Soon reverted to type though, we lived on a farm, had a dog and in those days all those bacterial wipes ect. hadn’t been invented.
Goodness knows how we all survived , in our case extremely healthily.
We also didn’t pollute the world with all those disposable items and products.


labazs1964 Sun 30-Sep-18 10:32:55

i am of the opinion people have got far too obsessed with germs and anti bacterial products thus reducing immune systems and making illness far more rife. its an old thing but i grew up being face wiped with a dish cloth and spending hours playing in the mud i grew up very healthy indeed

phoenix Sun 30-Sep-18 10:33:13

Many thanks for the responses, I'm so glad that it isn't just me! smile

Beau your SIL will probably be having a few fits of the vapours before long, once that little chap starts to get adventurous!

gerry86 Sun 30-Sep-18 10:33:34

There's being sensible and being over the top. As my Gran used to say "you've got to eat a peck of dirt before you die"
One thing I won't do though is buy food, such as bread and cakes that are uncovered and put for people to serve themselves, who knows how many people have touched it, sneezed or coughed near it.

granma47 Sun 30-Sep-18 10:36:33

Cruising is a slightly different situation as there are hundreds or thousands of people in a confined space for lengths of time. When Norovirus happens it travels very quickily. The ships I have been on have hand sanitizers at the entrance to dining areas & bars and entrance to the ship and and ask that they are used at all times but it is surprising how many people ignore the request.

silvercollie Sun 30-Sep-18 10:41:20

No wonder the immune systems of most people is low. Folk have paid too much attention to the manufacturers of anti bacterial products whose cry seems to be ‘use our product to save yourself from Germs.’ In tandem with the sanitisation of homes - no draughts and no fresh air - little wonder that children grow up suffering all types of ‘dis’eases. Edward Jenner would never have found a cure for smallpox Had he followed the dictates of modern advertising

wildswan16 Sun 30-Sep-18 10:45:27

"Germs" have become big business. Companies make masses of money out of pretending we can't allow a single one to survive.

I have never bought any of these expensive products, sprays or wipes. I am careful in public loos as to where I touch, and when travelling abroad I do use a hand gel, but that's about all.

Unless you are particularly vulnerable or immuno-compromised for medical reasons there is absolutely no point in any of them.

anitamp1 Sun 30-Sep-18 10:46:05

I've often thought many people are over the top with their hygiene routines. I think we need to come into contact with some germs to develop immunities to them. I grew up in an average mid income household. As children we washed our hands and faces with flannels, probably full of germs. We had never heard of hand sanitiser. We played in dirt and mud and came to no harm. There was a pot of home made soup on the cooker that lasted days. Think we just need to be sensible. I do try to avoid touching handrails etc when I'm out to avoid picking up a cold from someone else's germs.

mabon1 Sun 30-Sep-18 10:53:04

There is a woman who lives near to me who arises at 5.30a.m. every morning and cleans the house until 10.30. I am one of these people "It is said that housework never killed anybody but I'm not taking any chances" never been doing a lot of housework (but love ironing) and non of the five of us ever had anything untoward. The three boys played out in the garden - soil and sand - never became ill. People are obsessed with this germ business.

starbox Sun 30-Sep-18 10:54:50

Absolutely! I'm quite sure my cleaning would horrify the sellers of antibacterial products...a quick wipe here and there. We've had cat litter trays, cats sleeping on pillows, me (last week) cutting green layer of mould off a (perfectly OK) cheese scone inner...The thing is, does my dreadful lifestyle make me, hubby (& 4 yr old grandchild who visits) ill? Ever? Am I rife with infections, food poisoning etc? And the answer is no..I'm disgustingly have no intentions on wasting time and £ on unneccessary (but money making) products. I get through a bottle of Dettol about every 4 months!

nanav123 Sun 30-Sep-18 11:11:29

My grandmother always said "Eat a peck of muck before you die" That was 80 years ago

Jaycee5 Sun 30-Sep-18 11:14:35

I agree. There is a difference between being hygienic and careful and being prissy and neurotic. No one needs to see things in their own home under a scientific microscope.

gillyknits Sun 30-Sep-18 11:23:10

I’m coming certainly not obsessed by worrying about germs but I did actually freak out the other day. We were at the checkout of our local store doing our weekly shop when it became apparent that the checkout girl had a cold. She then sneezed into her hand, blew her nose on a tissue and carried on touching all of my shopping.
Having had pneumonia earlier this year, the last thing I want is her cold. The bacterial wipes did come out on this occasion (not for the shopping but for my hands!)