I was at a party last week with a fellow pregnant woman who was extremely cautious about everything. She was even worried about a serving spoon that had touched fresh mozzarella going near another dish. She refused to eat off of a plate a toddler had decorated because a toddler's hand is, after all, a ticket to disease.
I couldn't help thinking that this woman was in for a rude awakening. What happens when her kid is born? Is she going to keep it in a bubble? And what about if she gets pregnant again? Will she refuse to touch her first child to protect her unborn from imaginary germs?
Of course there are things that make sense when it comes to germs. Pregnant women shouldn't share ice cream cones with sick toddlers and should consider getting flu shots. But to keep themselves completely protected may end up being counterproductive. Aren't some germs good ones? I know we all love Purell, but haven't we heard that it's actually not that great if you overuse it?
Germaphobes have always seemed a bit elitist to me. It's a luxury to be able to wash your hands every 10 minutes. Who has the time? And what about using an entire bar of soap in the shower? That costs a ton. And how about running your dishwasher on extra hot? That uses a lot of energy.
Having a child and being a germaphobe is even harder. Your kid will play on a playground and that's usually never cleaned except by acid rain. Also, flying with kids. The first time I did it, I threw out every pacifier that touched even the tray table. Now I just give the nuk a quick wipe and stick it back in the kid's mouth.
Are you a germaphobe?
Image via Y/Flickr