Every Sunday, I have to laugh to myself. Hand holding at the Our Father and extensive outreach to shake hands at the Sign of Peace is rampant at our parish. It almost looks like a game of Twister as no one wants to leave anyone out whether they like it or not,. When do I get the urge to giggle? When after extending all that brotherly love around, they have added another bit of liturgy to the subsequent Lamb of God proclamation. I’m talking about the ‘distribution of the hand sanitizer up and down the ranks in the pew and the scent of it hanging in the air as we continue with the Mass. Love thy neighbor but don’t trust where their hands have been.
It seems, however, that they are not doing themselves or the world a favor with the bottled handwash. Science has discovered that the antibacterial properties of soap . . . and hand washes could actually increase the risk of infections. It could mess up the good bacteria in your intestinal track. AND, it could overpower the good bacteria and turn bad bacteria into potentially antibiotic-resistant super bugs. The news has had several articles about people hospitalized with infections that aren’t helped with the antibiotics currently available. Another contributing factor are the years where antibiotics were freely handed out for colds, flu, etc. even though they really weren’t helpful. We’ve helped raise the super bugs and lowered the effectiveness of antibiotics.
Seems that once again, the old-fashioned ways are best. Hand washing with good, old ordinary soap is just as effective at combating germs as the highly-touted antibacterial soaps. Just use warm, running water and lather up for at least 30 seconds.
Hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, and mild, biodegradable soaps can be used for cleaning. They are cheaper, effective, and keep the problems out of the house and away from children. I run a damp cloth with ordinary rubbing alcohol over the bathroom fixtures every morning. It keeps the bathroom shiny, clean, and smelling fresh. Worried about cleaning fruits and vegetables, use a hydrogen peroxide rinse followed by a vinegar rinse for good measure. Cheaper than the bottled types that are pricey.