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Hand sanitizer comedy

 
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today I frustrated some nice people.  It wasn't my intention to frustrate them.   Basically, I was kicked out of my doctor's office and asked to not return.  

There is, of course, a longer, richer, story.  

Starting with a long run of good health making it easy for me to avoid doctors and hospitals.   And then suddenly,  about four years ago learning more than I ever wanted to know about the medical industry and insurance.   And with that, a powerful urge to dodge all of that as much as possible.  

I think sun pucky is more toxic than the sun.  I never use it.  That's just me.  Personal choice perhaps.  I never use bug pucky either.  There's probably a long list of stuff that normal people use that I don't use.  Maybe I'm a fool.

I have arrived at a philosophy that skin has good bacteria and bad bacteria.   And maybe a bunch of other lifeforms too.   Years ago I stopped using sterilizing products because they poison the good with the bad and gives a leg up to the bad.  I shower every day, and I think that my protection of my skin has led to many small health benefits.   Yay!

Again,  personal preference stuff.  Just my own thing.   I feel really good about this path.

Many people appear to deeply enjoy hand sanitizer.  Their personal preference.   I suppose the hand sanitizer companies are giddy about such a preference.  Especially giddy about recent pandemic stuff.

The pandemic hit my house early.  March.  Maybe if I used hand sanitizer 20 times a day I could have postponed it.   But I got it and then got past it.  

I work from home and managed to go a very long time avoiding the mask thing.  When I do go in, I wear a bandana - mostly because I have one in my pocket already.   I know that it is not as good as a fancy mask as slowing the virus, but I think that I'm not going to get it or carry it,  so that is even better.  Of course others don't know that so it is best that I maintain the show of it.

And then ....  hello ....   that's new ....  that's not supposed to be there ... maybe I should get it looked at.   ... ... three weeks later ...  it seems smaller,  but three weeks is a bit long.  Appointment made.  

On the day of the appointment,  so much smaller it takes me a while to find it.  Maybe I should cancel my appointment.  Hmmmm....  it is probably best to go through with it.  

I get to the office and the receptionist asks if I have a fever or cough or a list of things that might be pandemic-esque.  I have none of those symptoms.   Somehow I foolishly mention having gone through the illness six months ago - I thought this would be helpful.  She asks if it was confirmed.   I laugh and say something suggesting that that would be silly.  And the instant it leaves my pie hole, I remind myself that she is a normal person working in a normal medical office.  I am the bizarre weirdo.  The look she gives me is magnificent restraint as she does NOT roll her eyes.  I deeply appreciate her not rolling her eyes.  I am now prepared to back off and let her continue to do her job unobstructed.

She then asks me to sanitize my hands, and points to the hand sanitizer.  

I have managed to go several years without hand sanitizer.   And I really like this path.   REALLY like this path.   Of course there is no note right there to explain the ingredients.   Maybe it is just aloe and rubbing alcohol?  My guess is that it has 37 ingredients,  half of which I will struggle to pronounce and 12 will later be banned.  

I explain that I had just washed my hands, which is true.  

I have now decided that I would rather not have the appointment than use the sanitizer.   After all, the problem seems to have mostly gone away, and in a few months the extreme sanitizer requirement will go away too.   Besides, I was in this office 7 months earlier and there was no such requirement then.

"You have to."

Crap.   She is doing her job.   I'm not used to medical offices, and i don't like all of this and probably my issue of the day is nothing, so I really don't want to be a bother ...

At the same time,  I live a rich life by having values and sticking to them.  

I wish for her to have a lovely and normal professional day.  Un marred by the likes of me and by bizarre (to her) values.

"I would rather not.  Perhaps I should just go?"

And while she seemed a bit irritated, she offered a solution.  "How about if I take you to an exam room and you can wash your hands?"  "Okay."  What a pro!  Facilitating my weirdness!  Neat!  These people are way cooler than I thought they would be.

I get to the exam room, with all the doors being opened for me so my hands don't leave any germs.  Of course the sink is turned on with those paddles, which I touch - i choose to not point it out, because if it doesn't bother them, it doesn't bother me.  

There is, of course, soap there.  It looks like the exact same stuff as the hand sanitizer.  I scrub my hands pretty good, shut off the water and dry.

"You have to use soap."

So this was more of a wicked trick than a clever professional solution.  Ugh.  

I offer to simply go.   She asks me to wait while she gets the doctor.  I offer to the doctor keeping my hands in my pockets, which probably still sounds crazy.  I offer to leave twice more.   The doctor explains that even his five year old knows that washing hands is with soap and he then asks me to leave.  

I felt that the comment about his kid lowered him a LOT in my opinion.   Of course, at this time, I am certain that my opinion means very little to him.  

I guess I pooped on the day of two people without the intent of doing so.   All that they asked for was my strict obedience to something that everybody else in their tiny world is okay obeying.  

Without looking, I would guess if an ambulance brings somebody to the hospital with a gunshot wound, there is team standing by to sanitize those hands before rolling into the operating room.



My guess is that 99% of you would be in the "when in Rome..." camp.   Is there even one person that would have also left?


 
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paul wheaton
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I typed that whole thing on my phone while in town waiting for a tire to be mended.  



I feel ookie (seems a better fit of a word than "yucky" - kinda like a feeling just to the left of "yucky").  I came to do a bit of simple business.  

I once heard a great presentation by Doug Bullock in which he referred to non-permaculture folk as "muggles."  So I was attempting to do a bit of business with  muggles.  Their business is set up to do business with other muggles.  They really aren't set up for my weird shit.  I had hoped to glide in, conduct business, then go get the tire mended.  

I had no intent of having them be so upset.  My wackiness might end up being the shittiest part of their week.  I did not intend to drop in and drop a shitty week on them.  

In hindsight, I suppose I could have washed my hands with their sanitizer soap and then immediately rinsed it off.  And there are probably other things my skin has come into contact in the last ten years that is worse than that sanitizer.  So I'm not quite sure what came over me other than "I really, really, really don't want to touch that stuff."  Intuition?  Gut feeling?  Heebie jeebies?  

I suppose that if I told anybody here that I was going to the doctor (I elected to say nothing more than "errands in town") then somebody may have told me "make sure to bring your own hand sanitizer or else they will make you use theirs."   I could have put mayonnaise in a bottle and rubbed it on my hands and they would think "good enough."  Such supple skin!



 
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I believe wholeheartedly you are correct. If you want a doctor's assurance, the one I trust on medical matters is Dr. John Bergmann. If you have not seen his videos on youtube I recommend them. He HATES hand sanitizer. He hated it before Covid, and he hates it even more now. Not only does it kill the good bacteria, it allows your skin to absorb toxic chemicals like BPA many times more readily according to actual lab tests. Imagine how many people use the stuff and then handle a reciept in a store...just inviting a powerful endocrine disruptor right into their bloodstream. Fun fact: all these people slathering that stuff on their hands for thirty seconds are doing nothing for Covid. According to testing, slathering it for two minutes doesn't work. It takes four full minutes of sanitizer to sanitize your hands! I've seen no one use it that long. It takes your skin only five to ten minutes to kill Covid itself! Those good bacteria being killed are your first line of your immune system. They fight the bad ones. For years, I wondered why staph infections were so freakishly common when people I knew had surgery. I figured the hospitals must not clean properly. I now realize the issue is that they are too sterile. Staph lives on your skin. How many times have you cut yourself in dirty farm conditions and gotten staph? I know no one. I know many who got it from a hospital. The staph on your skin lives there; you are it's home. It is in it's best interest not to harm you. It actually fights off foreign strains of staph. The ancients may not have known about microbes, but they did understand that there is a balance in the body. The body is an ecosystem.
 
paul wheaton
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Dear S and Jordan,

Thanks so much for the technical reserach backing up my heebie jeebies!

I present to you this question:  in the same foolish situation, you probably would have brought your own good to simulate hand sanitizer - much, much smarter than what I did.   But if you were there without that, would you have simply caved to using the hand sanitizer or would you also have refused to use their sanitizer and their "soap"?

 
Jordan Holland
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paul wheaton wrote:Dear S and Jordan,

Thanks so much for the technical reserach backing up my heebie jeebies!

I present to you this question:  in the same foolish situation, you probably would have brought your own good to simulate hand sanitizer - much, much smarter than what I did.   But if you were there without that, would you have simply caved to using the hand sanitizer or would you also have refused to use their sanitizer and their "soap"?



Tough call. I guess it depends on how severely I needed to be looked at. Like many things, one time won't kill you. But still...  Maybe if you go back, go armed with some print-outs of real research to show them. Probably won't help educate them, but you never know. What is concerning is not necessarily the occasional use of something, but rather the fact that medical professionals have the frame of mind that sanitizer good, germs bad. I'm afraid just how much worse they have made the pandemic with their "modern" methods.
 
S Bengi
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If I was at a hospital for something urgent and important, I am sure I would have said yes to whatever chemical cocktail, they want me to rub on myself or ingest into my body, even though the side effect probably would say, may cause kidney/organ failure, coma, mental instability, etc.

But with this particular scenario:
-where the bump has gone down, and your body has all but healed itself.
-Doctor Offices, Clinic and Hospitals being a breeding ground for superbugs, and them saying to avoid coming in and catching something from us
-Your 'gut' telling you to leave

I would have done exactly what you did.
 
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Ug!  What a crazy thing.
As for the ambulance and gunshot ... yes.  I saw that happen last time I was in the ER.  It was a nail-gun workplace injury, but they still sanitized his hands for him even though he was unconscious.  

As for overofficious sanitizer enforcers, I've had a few run-ins with them.  One shop they had sanitizer at the door.  Now, I just sanitized outside the door, so I felt that it would be silly to sanitize again once inside the door... but she was angry and afraid, so I did as she demanded... only to find out a few min later when the blisters started forming on my skin that she got this bottle cheap because it was recalled but wasn't harmful or anything.  Um, blisters!  Um, over a week of bad skin thank you, lady.

So now, I don't use the provided sanitizer.  I have a tiny spray bottle in my pocket or purse (about the size of a lipstick).  This is great stuff made by a local company using locally produced alcohol, packaged in locally manufactured aluminium containers.  Best yet - NO blisters!  I can use this 40 or 100 times a day and my skin doesn't go bad.  

It's like mask wearing, publically sanitizing our hands isn't so much for our benefit (although it does have more benefits than masks) but to make the people around us feel more comfortable.  

A possible solution for the future: Maybe carry a small spray bottle of a less toxic sanitizer.  That gell has some massively toxic stuff, but the alcohol/water mixture I use only has the problem of having essential oils.  It's not as good as soap and water, but it gives you something to publically spray on your hands and say "oh, sorry, I brought my own sanitizer as that stuff gives me blisters."  

But like you said, you are your own person.  You gotta do what you gotta do.
 
S Bengi
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Yes, the placebo effect is real, and feeling less stressed out will help our immune system.
Doing anything even if it is meaningless makes us feel like people care and they are at least making some effort, even if it is only for show/pointless.

But I think that you are correct in going with your gut feeling.
 
paul wheaton
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S Bengi wrote:I would have done exactly what you did.



Thank you.  That is what I needed to hear.  I feel a bit less crazy now.  

I still feel bad that I freaked some people out.  But I think what I did was the right thing, in the end, for me.

 
Jordan Holland
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r ranson wrote:
It's like maks wearing, publically sanitizing our hands isn't so much for our benefit (although it does have more benefits than masks) but to make the people around us feel more comfortable.  


Based on my research (from Dr. John and other sources) I simply can't share this sentiment. My research (and personal experience) has led me to believe that the science shows that both mask wearing and hand sanitizing are injurious to human health. Injuring our health increases our chances of getting sick. This is not something we want in the time of a pandemic. If I have a choice of making someone feel a false sense of comfort, or reducing their chances of catching a terrible, possibly life-threatening disease, I'm inclined to choose the latter. I don't want people to just feel safe, I want people to be safe. This false sense of security I'm seeing in my area is very dangerous. People are emboldened to go out and do things they shouldn't be doing because they falsely believe they are protected, when they are actually even more at risk.

I forgot to mention, Dr. John does say essential oils are ok. They instantly kill Covid and do not obliterate the good stuff living on your skin.
 
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We are immuno-compromised with many risk factors in this household.  People in our situation do not tend to have good Covid outcomes.  We are zealous to avoid any routes of potential viral infection.  I respect that others are in a different and less stressful place, but that's our reality.  

The last time I was in a store was in April, to buy tomato starts after my seedlings got frozen out.  

The only off-the-property building with other people in it that I have entered since April was my local cheap clinic, in June, to see my personal medical provider so that I could get my prescriptions renewed.  I won't need to do that again until December.  I wore a really good mask.  Nobody asked me to sanitize, but I rubbed that shit on myself all the way to the elbows after I left their building and before I entered my vehicle.  I have a lot of faith in the human body's ability to handle rare exposures to mild toxins.  My sanitizer label tells me it's ethyl alcohol (which I drink) and water (likewise) and something called carbomer (Google tells me that's a thickener related to acrylic, to make the stuff all gooey; there's no ready evidence of toxicity but it's something I would prefer to avoid given the toxicity of acrylamide breakdown products) and "fragrance" (could be anything, probably isn't something I like) and  glycerin (which I would prefer not to eat but it's actually a fairly common food additive) and isopropyl myristate (widely used as a skin moisturizer, but not something I would normally choose to slather on) and aloe (which I am fine with) and tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E, probably fine on skin) and some food coloring.  Am I gonna use this shit every day?  No.  But it's the lesser of two evils vis-a-vis the virus in my calculations, which are of course unique to my situation and risk profile.  Choking to death with a ventilator down my neck is also somewhat toxic.

I don't think you're nuts for refusing the sanitizer and soap.  I'd have used them, but only because I'm not out in public during this pandemic unless I have a very powerful need.  If I have the powerful need, it's way more powerful than my desire to avoid rare contact with low-level toxins.  That desire is real, but it's got to be balanced against my other needs.  

 
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Our medical "professionals" are so used to being obeyed without question that they are shocked if I challenge anything.  Challenge away!  They need at least need to be able do defend their positions and accomodate reasonable requests outside their norm.
 
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Paul, I don't think you freaked anyone out. Doctors offices see lots of people with the whole spectrum of beliefs and behaviors. They probably get people not wanting to comply every day, or several times a day. No need to worry about them.  Medical professionals are a tough breed.

 
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If I were treated in that way and told to use the toxic stuff I would have left too.

My family gets around this by carrying around our own small bottle of non-toxic hand sanitiser. When we're told to use the toxic stuff, we just show that we have our own and use it in front of them, and if they have any questions we say we're allergic to their stuff. It's worked fine so far.
 
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I’m assuming you were at the dermatologist.  Do try to get it looked aT.  Everyone in my family has had skin cancer (caucasians in the tropics) and if you catch it early it’s easy to stop.
 
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Medical professionals are a tough breed



True enough. Me old mum's 50-year medical career witnessed a daily parade of human hijinks. On her annoyance scale, a spot of sanitizer drama would rate little more than a shrug and maybe some laughs in the break room.
 
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Paul Wheaton wrote:

I suppose that if I told anybody here that I was going to the doctor (I elected to say nothing more than "errands in town") then somebody may have told me "make sure to bring your own hand sanitizer or else they will make you use theirs."   I could have put mayonnaise in a bottle and rubbed it on my hands and they would think "good enough."  Such supple skin!

We've lost a lot of good doctors to this virus because they are more likely to get a high load of virus than a low load which has been shown to have worse odds. So I understand them following what they're being told and certainly here in Canada, there's been huge emphasis on "wash your hands". That said, I started avoiding hand sanitizer and "anti-microbial" soaps years ago because I totally agree with you Paul, that they're going to kill the good bugs and let the bad bugs get worse. Before this virus happened, I was actually starting to see comments from the occasional doctor to that effect - only use such things when necessary. A bunch of hand sanitizers have recently been recalled here for having unapproved ingredients. Your skin is your largest "organ" and it is totally capable of absorbing good stuff (think epsom salt bath) and bad stuff.

As for masks, there is a fair amount of circumstantial evidence that where *everyone who can* does wear a mask when around strangers and in shops/busses etc, transmission and severity of this virus has been reduced. However, as always, how and what is being worn is the issue. The masks I've made have been made with well washed cotton - I'm more concerned with artificial fibers and modern toxic chemicals in the fabric and the soap than with 30 year old cotton which I've mostly been using. However, I also think that wearing the same mask too long increases the risk to the wearer. Since I sew them myself, I have several and never wear one for too long.

Above all, just trying to stay outside when people "outside your bubble" are around and staying out of bars will improve your safety level enormously. Staying out of hospital emergency departments is another way to stay healthy! At the moment, staying out of the path of wildfires will keep you healthier. Not to mention hurricanes. If Permaculture is working *with* nature, doing so with the natural biome that makes up your skin is fair game.
 
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Jay Angler wrote:
As for masks, there is a fair amount of circumstantial evidence that where *everyone who can* does wear a mask when around strangers and in shops/busses etc, transmission and severity of this virus has been reduced. However, as always, how and what is being worn is the issue. The masks I've made have been made with well washed cotton - I'm more concerned with artificial fibers and modern toxic chemicals in the fabric and the soap than with 30 year old cotton which I've mostly been using. However, I also think that wearing the same mask too long increases the risk to the wearer. Since I sew them myself, I have several and never wear one for too long.



I think the circumstantial evidence in favor of broad mask use is pretty strong. I wear a fabric mask if I am entering a building, or expect to be nearish anyone. I also find that wearing one is a useful hint to other people that I Do Not Want Them Close To Me, and Why Don't You Put Yours On?

But I am well aware that it is not as easy for other folks. I am white, male, able-bodied, and give off unfriendly vibes in public spaces. People who think masks are dumb are not real likely to bug me about it. I have been able to carry on with my life fairly easily whilst only going to town every few weeks, so we are talking about very few hours of mask wearing per month; as much as it annoys me, this is pretty trivial.

If I was in a circumstance where I was forced to wear one forty hours a week, I would not be very happy. As it stands, I'm still doing my best to eke every last drop of amusement out of 'in a bank, wearing a cowboy hat and a mask, and for that matter a knife in my pocket, and it's normal'.
 
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Wouldn't it be lovely if everywhere that there is currently a sign telling you to stand back, or a lady telling you to use the hand sanitizer, there would be information about building your immune system, and a tray of fresh, 100% organic, permaculture grown, nutrient dense veggies?

And a bowl of ranch dip, because, you know . . . mmmm, ranch.

Sanitizers by their very definition are designed to kill.  Is there anything we can do to PROMOTE life and immunity?  99.9% our our international response has been to create rules and structures like Paul experienced, but nobody is talking about actively taking measures to build our body's immune response systems.

Has anyone heard Dr. Fauci ever speak even once about strengthening our immune systems?  Even once?  Billions of dollars spent fighting this virus, yet no one talks about such a pragmatic step—everyone eating better, sleeping more, exercising, and cutting from our diet and our lives those things that compromise our micro-biome.  Like hand sanitizer.

Is there a permaculture response to this insanity?  Yes.  We build soil to grow nutrient dense food, we build immunity in our bodies and build resiliency within our ecosystems.

Good for you Paul.
 
paul wheaton
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I feel much better about this today.  Thanks for the support everybody.

I wrote a bit here last march about our dealing with "the virus" (if 98% of people that have the symptoms, and are confirmed to not have the flue, but test "negative" - then what do they have?).  I think I am doing my part to make the rest of the world safe by having had it already.  And I am doing my part to help everybody feel safe by just staying home far more than most.

I am greatly comforted by the feedback about the toxins in all the different gick that is well avoided.  

I am also thinking about this path I am following has rewarded me with rather lovely skin - for an old doofus.

...

Is there anybody reading this thread that is familiar with the works of david sedaris?  In hindsight, I kinda feel like this six minute event is a david sedaris moment.  The sanitizer would be a sedaris light switch.

As I was waking up this morning, I imagined sitting with david and sharing this story.  I deeply enjoyed the thought. And then I thought that it is possible in real life he might be repulsed by me the way the doctor and receptionist were.   We all have our own values.




 
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I want to start by saying that I agree with the sub-optimal nature of hand sanitizer and anti-microbial soaps. If you kill all the microbiota, even the good ones, your skin becomes a petri dish, just like a sterilized field prepared for monocropping.

That said, I feel that occasional exposure to hand sanitizer isn't really as dangerous as might be suggested by the reaction, even with the addition of the toxic extras. I feel the "Germs Bad" school of thought promoted two decades or more ago by Lysol (Clean yes, Germs no) is much more dangerous. But to address the issue of COVID-19 spread, it is safe and effective. It may not be if we replace all soap use with hand sanitizer, but nobody's suggesting that.

As to masks, yes, it is well-known that to actually protect yourself from airborne particulates, one requires a medical-grade paper mask or N95 or N96 mask. This was never the point of non-medical masks. The point of wearing masks is to protect others in the event that we ourselves are carriers. A la Bill Nye, put on a mask of any kind and try to blow out a lit candle. That will illustrate exactly how non-medical masks are supposed to work. If all we have to worry about is spread by touch, hand-washing and hand sanitization have a much greater effect.

Incidentally, filter masks, the ones with the exhaust ports, are worse at keeping an infected individual from airborne transmission. They are geared towards protection and comfort of the wearer, but the exhaust valve essentially blows particulates out rather than filtering them.

What would I prefer to hand sanitizer? Handwashing stations with soap and water would be good. They even have them, freestanding ones that operate with a water reservoir and foot pump, usually at outdoor festivals that lack water service. Little soap (even bring your own), scrub scrub, no worries.

What would be even better, especially with occasional alcohol-based sanitizer use. would be a skin yogourt, essentially a probiotic in a prebiotic lotion that also moisturizes. It could be cultured from your own healthy skin samples. The toxic gick would still be good to avoid, and the alcohol will still disrupt the phospholipid layer of the skin that is one of the best lines of defense, but at least we could inoculate the petri dish again, and ensure that we don't leave any spots open for bad actors of the microbiotic kind.

If one disagrees with hand sanitizer policy, I think it's reasonable to carry one's own. It's not just making others feel safe, but there is an element of that to it.

I think it's important to remember one's own place on the Wheaton Eco-Scale, and how those significantly above and below us might view our actions. Keeping people feeling safe is sometimes key to actually being safe yourself. I don't want misunderstandings to rob us of anyone we would miss.

So stay safe, and be aware. I feel that if you disagree with specific measures, either absent yourself from said situations, or find work-arounds, like bringing your own choice of hand sanitizer. Even if it's essential oils in a coconut oil base, it will make people feel safe, and will likely kill anything on your skin. Incidentally, essential oils kill because of concentration. They kill all microbiota, too, so their effect is as damaging to beneficial skin microbiota as an alcohol-based sanitizer.

But don't waste time feeling bad about it. Just do what you can to keep yourself and others safe. Most of that is just keeping away from people, which a lot of us like to do anyways.

-CK

 
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As a medical related person who has followed this virus du jour as well as the history and behavior it and its kin I can say that wearing masks plain and simple reduces both its spread and its severity. Simple logic as well as massive amounts of clinical evidence clearly shows less virus in the air, less people infected. Less initial viral load, less severe infection. It's that simple.

This virus however as well as many others of the air born ilk are little impacted by sanitizers because it for the most part just doesn't spread that way. Unless perhaps you make it a habit to go around repeatedly picking other people's noses and then you own. Others though are much more easily spread by contact but fortunately less common in the general population and not being air born far less easy to get or give.

When it comes to hand sanitizers, I don't know about the toxicity or such involved but I myself don't really like them. They stink, their sticky, they feel nasty, they smudge my classes if I'm not careful. Just generally all round unpleasant. I do think they have some value in some situations so I have my own favorite. The brand name is Everclear, 95% alcohol 5% water.  Little to no smell, evaporates fast, kills pretty much everything, no nasty residue or lingering aftereffects unless cut with a little fruit juice and taken internally which of course should only be done in the privacy of your own home, the latter adding to its effectiveness in keeping your fingers out of the noses of strangers. Still in the case of the Dr. office I would probably have honored their request to rub some goop on my hands and then washed it back off with water at the earliest opportunity.

What the hell is sun pucky??


 
Jordan Holland
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I just checked and there are apparently several articles online now specifically about the hand sanitizer/BPA absorption issue.

https://raymondfrancisauthor.com/hand-sanitizers-do-they-work-are-they-safe/    is a simple, good one.

Some notable quotes from this page:

"Surprisingly, hand washing, even without soap, can deactivate an influenza virus within 30 seconds, but using soap is better." So yes, Paul, you were most likely safe scrubbing with just water.

"Using sanitizer at the store and then handling the cashier’s receipt can increase the amount of BPA absorbed through your skin as much as 100-fold."   One-Hundred Fold!

"Regarding effectiveness, a 2019 study published in mSphere found that ethanol-based hand sanitizers are not effective in destroying influenza viruses. The virus would have to be in contact with the sanitizer for four minutes to kill the virus."

BPA is an estrogen mimicking endocrine disruptor. I wonder how other toxic chemicals stack up? Alcohol is not supposed to be consumed with virtually all patent medications according to most doctors, due to the fact that it changes how it is absorbed into the body. It makes me wonder...
 
Jordan Holland
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Mark Reed wrote:
What the hell is sun pucky??



I'm guessing sunscreen, or sun lotion. Dr. Bergman also recommends against sunscreen. He mentions humans have lived in the sun, especially in the tropics, often with little more than a loincloth covering them for thousands of years with no astronomical rates of skin cancer, so it is not likely the sun causing skin cancer, it is most likely something else.
 
Chris Kott
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Nobody disputes that the phospholipid layer is disrupted by hand sanitizer to such an extent. Apart from BPA, it also promotes exposure to allergens in ways that may promote allergies.

Again, though, COVID-19 is not the flu. It isn't related to influenza. Why would we look at influenza data to judge the appropriateness of hand sanitizer use for COVID-19?

In the case of a pandemic as we are seeing today, I think another problem we are dealing with is that of individuals seeking rationales to circumvent simple procedural measures we are trying to implement to stymy the progress of this disease. My favourite is "asthma sufferers" who enter my much better half's store and explain that they can't wear a mask due to asthma. My much better half takes two puffs twice daily of one puffer, and has a rescue standby for bad days, and yet there she is, going through three masks a day just to stay under the three-hour limit.

One memorable case was a dog walker. Let that sink in. She was walking a half-dozen dogs, in athletic wear, during a heat warning, around noon, and yet five minutes in a mask in an air-conditioned store was too much. I wish these people would at least put some effort into their excuses.

So I want to see hand wash stations with soap. If people have objections to hand sanitizer use, they should vet and bring their own, and make sure they are seen using it.

As to masks, I would love to see people put on their selflessness for the duration of the pandemic. I know how much of a bitch it is to wear a mask for an eight hour shift. Ask how. I don't get the tantrums thrown by grown adults over putting some fabric over their face holes for five minutes to an hour of shopping.

Oh, and Paul, please get yourself checked for whatever it is that brought you to the doctor's. Skin cancer is no respector of persons, no matter how volubly you disavow need for sun gick. I, too, prefer big hats and billowy covering garb rather than chemicals, but I prefer the lack of skin cancer most. Take care, literally and figuratively.

-CK
 
Jay Angler
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Jordan Holland wrote:I'm guessing sunscreen, or sun lotion. Dr. Bergman also recommends against sunscreen. He mentions humans have lived in the sun, especially in the tropics, often with little more than a loincloth covering them for thousands of years with no astronomical rates of skin cancer, so it is not likely the sun causing skin cancer, it is most likely something else.

I've limited and close to avoided Sunscreen for decades because I didn't trust much of what's in it. I also think us Northerners *really* need some sun exposure for the Vit D, and I'm sure I read somewhere, but not necessarily a reliable source, that sunscreen was interfering with Vit D absorption. However, humans have screwed up that "thousands of years" bit two ways: 1. we damaged the ozone layer with chemicals so we lost a percentage of our protection and 2. most of those people lived shorter lives than we do (much of the skin cancer I've seen has been in people over 55 years of age.)

As always, there are many facets to a single problem and many opinions as to what's really responsible for an identified problem. It's virtually impossible to pick "one factor" and isolate it enough to prove one way or another. There are many more reasons for humans to develop skin cancer today than two hundred years ago - all we can do is balance the scales as much in our favor as we can.
 
Robin Katz
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The desire to not wear masks reminds me of people not wanting to wear seat belts or motorcycle helmets (anyone remember all the drama around that?). Most people, myself included, don't like to be told what to do. But, if it makes sense to me, I will comply.  Even if I don't agree completely, in any society there is more at stake than my personal preferences so I try to find the middle road. I like to save my battles for things that are really important and wearing a mask doesn't rate high enough to kick me into battle mode.

I too have asthma but when I am around people such as in a store, I wear the mask and it doesn't bother my asthma for that short period of time. I've had to wear full face respirators all day for jobs so a little cotton mask is nothing in comparison.

I agree that a hand washing station would be the best, but it's cost-prohibitive for most situations right now. That might change of course.
 
paul wheaton
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I called my naturopath office and made an appointment.  I asked about their policy on hand goo - apparently it is my choice whether to use it or not.   The gal I talked to to knew the ingredients for what they made available there and it all sounded pretty okay.  

Much, much better.

 
Jordan Holland
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Chris Kott wrote:
Again, though, COVID-19 is not the flu. It isn't related to influenza. Why would we look at influenza data to judge the appropriateness of hand sanitizer use for COVID-19?
-CK



I haven't seen any doctor spell it out in plain terms, but from what I know of them, they both are enveloped in a lipid bilayer. It's like if you take two pillows that are completely different(other than the fact they are both pillows). if you use something to remove the outer skin of the pillows, they will both cease to be pillows, but just random bits of stuffing--even though they were not the same exact thing to begin with.
 
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I'm thinking that the self-care that prompted you to visit the doctor outweighs the self-care that makes you eschew toxic gick, especially for one instance.
If it was at a restaurant, then "I'm not so hungry anymore... let's go home." is fine.
A doctor visit to address a concern of your own? I'd follow through. (which for me, after accomplishing the trifecta of: decide to visit doctor, make the appointment, arrive on time... that alone would compel me.)

Chris Kott's skin yoghurt idea would seem a good remedy for "after sanitizer recolonization" (your own skin, your own skin yoghurt, please.)
And so, Paul, I was hoping this story was going to end with "so I used the sanitizer, just that once, and saw the Doc. On the the way out of the office, so all could see, I rubbed my hands in my armpits to make them mine again."
 
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I will definitely check out Dr Bergman and appreciate the tip. Sane medical advice is such a treasure. I will offer my own suggestion of someone who speaks from a place of great experience, Dr. Zach Bush is a wonderful resource for thoughtful and measured advice from someone with a mountain of education and practical experience from neonatal to palliative medicine and much in between. Unsurprisingly, to most of us, he has concluded that he can do the most good for his patients by starting his own clinic that focuses on nutrition/diet.

And Paul, I am there with you as well, I havr managed to avoid the sanitizer madness so far but I also watched in horror as a city worker came and sprayed down a playground with god-knows-what right before a chaperoned group of masked children were led through the construction fencing set up to keep the filthy masses away.

My public interactions in 2020 have led me to a great deal of sadness
 
pollinator
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You should meet my mother, she's just not afraid of any chemicals no matter how strong. She's like a Chuck Norris towards the toxic stuff, uses the strongest for house cleaning just to get it done faster ;)

I'm not like that but I would probably use the hand sanitizer... And some hand cream afterwards. I was teaching wool spinning recently and told I told people about the lanolin, how it protects the skin. One participant said that it's good after all that hand sanitizer.
 
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I think I have set the record for walking out of doctors' and other offices.  My usual offense is when a doctor orders a test, I ask for its reliability and validity.   Of course they too often order tests that they have little idea as to the effectiveness.

With 20/20 hindsight, have you considered carrying a small piece of soap in your pocket?

To be up front, I am an RN. My wife has a 60% lung capacity, so I take threats to her respiratory system darned seriously. There is no doubt in my mind that Covid would be a death sentence for her. That said, the microbiology class I took stressed how relatively ineffective alcohol was.  This is not to say it is without purpose.  The added problem is the damage done to the skin through drying.

I do wash my hands a lot. I do use hand sanitizer. I do wear a mask that goes well beyond the norm. It is my belief that too many have unnecessarily died already.
 
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We don't require that patients sanitize their hands prior to being roomed or seen in our pediatric office.  We do require that they wear masks.  (My own pet peeve is those who get roomed and then remove their mask, subsequently filling the small, poorly ventilated space with whatever viruses they may be carrying.  Yes, I ask them to put the mask back on, but it's frustrating - I spend my work day meeting 15-17 different groups of people in these tiny exam rooms.  The windows don't open.)

I consider most of the surface cleaning to be security theater.  There is very little evidence for COVID spreading via fomites.  All evidence points towards airborne infection.

My personal theory is that there is a period of time, prior to developing any symptoms, that a person is like a dandelion of COVID, just spewing it all over the place.  This is how you get all the "super spreader" events.  But it's not happening the whole time they have it.  The transmission rate to household members is surprisingly low - less than half.  The effectiveness of simple cloth masks is surprisingly high.

Your mask is like your handkerchief.  Wash it regularly, don't share with others, but it's not rocket science.  There's good evidence that wearing a simple cloth mask lowers your chance of a severe infection and increases the likelihood that if you catch COVID, you will have a mild or asymptomatic infection.  There is growing evidence that many "asymptomatic" infections damage the body, so the best thing is to not catch it at all, of course.  We're still learning about the long term effects of this new infection, some people are sick for months.

Having your own hand sanitizer made from alcohol with some essential oil of white thyme might be a good strategy.  Thymol is antiviral and antibacterial, I mix it with honey (just a few drops!!) for a powerful cough syrup, and it's got that medicinal smell to satisfy the receptionist.  (Thymol is the active ingredient in Listerine.)  I just looked it up and thymol is approved by the EPA as a COVID killing substance.  So, there's that.
 
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When  my son was 12 or 14 year (2006-2008) he was in BSA & we camped at least once a month.
I bought hand sanitizer so the boys, could wash the hands before meals.
My Dear wife, who believe there is a herb for every ailment, said "You know that stuff does not work & is a waste of money".
I replies " yes, but in the wood there is no bathrooms, so it is better than nothing."
So I do not use sanitizer, no one has tried to make me do it either.
My wife uses "Thieves" which is all natural oils, made cloves,lemon,cinnamon,eucalyptus, rosemary.
 
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I would not have left, but with the industrial nature of my job, going completely pooless is unrealistic for myself; so I have to use hand detergents all the time anyway. I figure with all that I've been exposed to in this industry, it's not the FDA approved "soap" or sanitizer that's going to kill me.  That said, I deliberately order "castile" soap off of Amazon (because it's the only place I can get it) mostly because it's real soap (made with the traditional soapification process from non-petroleum oils) and doesn't contain modern detergents, or anything else.
 
If you two don't stop this rough-housing somebody is going to end up crying. Sit down and read this tiny ad:
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while
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