2014-10-06

To Prep For Ebola: Eat Your Boogers

Ever since the first case of Ebola was said to hit the US, almost everywhere I go I’m hearing/seeing cries for help people freaking out about Ebola. The people worrying haven’t been to a hospital, or on an airplane, or been exposed to a building where anyone with ebola even walked through, much less actually put themselves in contact with the bodily fluids of anyone with the disease, but Worriers Gonna Worry.
from ar15.com
Let me just take this quick opportunity to explain how you would get the ebola virus. It’s a scary illness, that’s for sure, however for you to get the virus you would have to be exposed to a person who definitely has it, and actually be IN CONTACT with their bodily fluids
from caribdirect.com
You’re not going to get it from someone coughing on the bus, or even sneezing right in your face. This won’t give you ebola. A cold? Maybe. Disgusted? Almost definitely, it happens to me every day by cute little kids and it’s still gross.



Now if you have been exposed to someone with the disease, and you went ahead and rolled around in their vomit or blood:
  1. Please tell me the story behind that in the Comments below.
  2. Know that we very different practices in play here than they do where this disease started to grow. We have the best medicine, and we are able to test and quarantine people, unlike the areas where this is a real actual threat.


In other words: Calm the Frick Down and have faith in our medical system.


Mostly the people I see worrying are overly-worried (to put it nicely) parents and/or your paranoid types. Your germaphobes, OCD sufferers, anti-bac ralliers, etc.


Mysophobia (Verminophobia) is a pathological fear of contamination and germs.

These are the people who, in their constant vigilance against bacteria, actually CAUSE common germs to mutate into superbugs and antibiotic-resistant strains. 

A part of me feels badly for what they’re going through, but mostly the part of me passed down by my old man wants to grab them by the collar and explain at great length just how they’re making things worse.


I do feel badly for actual OCD-sufferers. If you know someone, or are someone, who washes their hands and/or cleans their house to the point where it affects your life, you really should get some help. There may be a very simple fix for you. Science tells us that people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder have different brain activity. If left untreated, it could get worse. Talk to your doctor, who has heard about these and many worse conditions and will not judge you, and try some different treatment.

If you don’t actually have OCD, your worry is probably coming from a place of fear. You want to be a good parent, a good citizen, or you just don’t want to get sick. I get it.  I understand where some of it is coming from. I used to have many irrational fears from public speaking to a small bout with spider fear, to a myriad of general parenting fears. 

Do you want to know how I got over my fears? I just faced them, dead-on-balls straight on. That is a weird way of saying that, at no time did I ever have a fear of any kind of balls. Being a single mother, I was the only one around to deal with spiders in the kid's room. 

I had 2 choices: Either freak out and give my offspring the same irrational fear, or can realize they are a part of our world, get over mydambself, grab a cup and just put that little fricker outside. I moved many a spider, I lived, and now I'm not afraid of spiders anymore.

Public speaking? I volunteered to do small training classes with the 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer, and worked my up to giving talks to the entire crew. I spoke, people stared, I lived, I'm not afraid anymore. And this coming March? I'm marrying an awesome co-crew member and her fiancee.
Which is to say I'm officiating the ceremony as a minster of the church of Universal Life, not that I'm becoming poly-amorous. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

from boldomatic.com
When my first 2 kids were born, I used the anti-bac, I bleached, I washed my hands a million times. 

Eventually they got sick, they lived, and now I never buy or use anti-bac anymore. I wash my hands using good old soap and water. We get plenty of exposure to germs, both in our own dirty house, and in public places. I avoid antibiotics at all costs, and we're all healthy. 

My oldest is 19 and even though he's a smoker and his main food group is currently Flamin' Hot Cheetos, he almost never gets sick.

Some people obsessively wash, clean, disinfect, and sanitize simply because they want to keep their family safe. They want to feel in control in a world where we may not feel like we have a lot of control. That's a very human reaction to fear.


However, they should know they’re not actually helping their family by keeping them away from germs. That makes their immune systems weak, and therefore more vulnerable when they actually are exposed to germs. Since germs are a part of our world, there is a good chance eventually all children and adults will be exposed to some sort of germs. And that’s okay. Germs are everywhere, you can’t outrun them.


Without getting all science-verbiage on you, did you know there are mites that live on your eyelashes? They feed off the dead skin cells and oil that collect in your follicles. If I showed you a picture you might be horrified, feel free to look them up, because there they are. Every day. They come out to breed on your face at night, and return to your follicles to lay eggs. You can’t run from them. They are there, they are fine. They won’t hurt you. If you tried to interfere with them and say, spray Raid on your face, you would do yourself a huge injustice.

My point, other than grossing everyone knowing that mites are having sex on your face, is that there are some things in your environment that you can’t control, and you’re better to just embrace them. 

Do you think people in Mexico go around telling each other “Don’t drink the water!” No, they drink it, they’re fine. This is because their bodies are used to the water. It’s their world, that’s their water, it’s where they live. Their systems adapted. Just like ours need to adapt to our water, our world, our germs.

You would do your family a better service exposing them to everyday germs. Let them actually touch a cart in the grocery store, play at the park where children around them played, even eating their own boogers would be better for them than all the anti-bacterial goop on their little meathooks. Look it up, ask any doctor worth his/her salt, ask any medical student. I will put links to sites at the end of this.

My sister had a friend so afraid of germs, she wouldn’t let her children check out library books because she was afraid there would be boogers in the books from other kids. If there were, this would have done her childrens’ immune systems a world of good.


By being exposed to germs, their bodies would develop antibodies to fight those germs. The next time the kids get exposed? No worries, their bodies know just how to fight this. This is how vaccines work, this is how our bodies work, it’s all natural.


When you or your children get a common cold, let them fight it. The body knows what to do. Unless you or children are immuno-comprimised, or the fever goes above say 103 degress, the white blood cells and other defense mechanisms will kick in and fight. If you rush them to the doctor and give them anti-biotics every time they’re sick, you may cause the germs to become stronger, and their bodies never learn to develop antibodies.


If you know anyone worried about ebola, just tell them to eat their boogers.

Okay, that is not the only thing that will build your immune system. I mean, think about it, any germs in those boogers were already in your body. My point is, embrace the germs and bacteria in your world, they're not going away and they're good for you.

Some non-wiki links if you want actual science backup:
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/eating-boogers-may-boost-immunity-scientist-suspects/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/05/13/nose-picking.aspx

Here is an article from webMD about exposing your kids to germs:
http://www.webmd.com/parenting/d2n-stopping-germs-12/kids-and-dirt-germs
The bottom line on that article:
"A mounting body of research suggests that exposing infants to germs may offer them greater protection from illnesses such as allergies and asthma later on in life."

That is straight from webMD, not wikipedia.

40 comments:

  1. "My point, other than grossing everyone knowing that mites are having sex on your face"

    Well aren't you just a ray of sunshine this morning, Joy? Thanks for that visual. I'd type more but I'm too busy scraping all the skin off my face. I'll post pics later.

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    1. hahaha SORRY! That is exactly why I did not include pictures of those disgusting bugs! They're gross. But the good news is, they're microscopic. And if we realize they were there all along, living in harmony on our bodies, we know we don't have to worry.

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  2. Ha, it's hilarious that you mention the whole "completely getting rid of germs makes you more susceptible to sickness" thing, because once upon a time a girl was doing one of those door to door vacuum cleaner demonstrations (the $4,000 one that sucks EVERYTHING out of the room) and after her presentation, in which she guaranteed it would remove 99.5% of all dirt particles, germs, etc, she asked if I had any questions.

    So I said, "Okay, so what happens when I live in a completely germ free environment, and then step out into the real world, where there are suddenly a bunch of germs my body isn't accustomed to, and I get instantly sick? Isn't this a bad thing?"

    She had absolutely nothing to say to that. And no, no matter how hard she tried, she could not pressure us to buy her $4,000 "make you sick" machine.

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    1. HA! She came and knocked on the WRONG door! Your point is exactly what I'm talkin' bout, Willis. Ever see the movie "Creepshow" based on a Stephen King book? Upson Pratt is the germphobe in the last skit, 'They're Creeping Up On You'. His whole apartment is supposed to be bug-proof and he keeps seeing cockroaches EVERYWHERE. All of a sudden they're everywhere! At the end we realize they were never there, only in his crazy head. Great movie, greater book.
      And yes, ridding your home of germs isn't actually doing your immune system any good. It's why I leave my house a filthy mess. Well, it's part of the reason.

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  3. I think I'm more freaked out about the mites on my face than about ebola...

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    1. Yeah, I didn't really think that through.

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  4. I have mild OCD and I'm not even worried. Whattup, people? Stop the insanity! You may have something with the booger theory. And hey - protein.

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    1. Good for you. Not much you can do anyway. Now if anyone actually GETS ebola? That is one time I would say to go ahead and go to your doctor. In the meantime, soap and water and CTFD.

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  5. Someone posted a screenshot of a woman's tweet. She said that after the Ebola case in Dallas she was getting into her truck & moving to Texas because she could not live in an Ebola stricken country. I expect that this represent the majority of people that will have irrational fears about catching the disease.

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    1. Lawdy. I do love the DUMB TWEETS. However sad they make me, and remind me that the Southern states ARE still in fact our same country, they also make me feel like a freaking genius. And sometimes? I could really use that confidence.

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  6. It's true. We're all way too clean for our own good. But NOBODY should give up antiperspirant yet, okay? That's where I draw the line.

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    1. Oh no one is calling for THAT, no way! That's just common courtesy of living in a society of any kind. I'm just talking about the people who freak out when their kids get dirty, or like my neighbor who gave me a quilted blanket-thingy that she always put over the grocery cart. She didn't want her kid to ever touch the grocery cart! That same kid? Is now 10, has TONS of allergies and always gets sick. To the point where she has to be HOSPITALIZED at least once every couple of years. No doubt because she has no immune system. I know the mom thinks she's helping her daughter, but really. You can't hide from the world.

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  7. OMG I think I just died of laughter like ten times... at least!

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    1. Thank you, Erin. It's nice to get a positive comment! People on my Facebook page are calling for my head! Apparently I triggered someone's OCD "bad" as she put it, then I started getting comments asking me to be compassionate. Are you fucking kidding me? This is a humor blog, and by the way: Everything in this post is TRUE. I posted actual links!

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  8. I am not kidding when I say repeatedly, that you are not good for my slack pelvic floor muscles. That first picture alone made me snort so loud, Spawn thought I was being attacked by a wild boar.

    Did you know that more women are suffering with Lady Garden troubles because we are keeping ourselves far too clean down there? I mean what else is a girl to do? I want to hear the ocean but I don't want to smell it every time an unwashed female walks by. Sorry, I just grossed myself out a little...

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    1. hahahaha Lady Garden always makes me laugh, though it paints an unrealistically dainty picture in my opinion. I prefer to call him the "man cave" which is weird, yes, but it's probably more accurate. There are no flowers or pruning or gardening going on downtown. I do wash, but I don't use any items that involve commercials in a field of wildflowers. And my godmother, a registered nurse, is part of a campaign to get women to stop douching. It kills the good bacteria. See? Bacteria can be GOOD.

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  9. Thanks a lot for the reminder that there are disgusting mites having sex on my face. GROSS. But yeah, with the exception of releasing the spider outside (always always smush and flush or they will come back and lay eggs in your ear while you sleep), I totally agree. Sometimes, we don't even wash our hands when we go from a playground somewhere. Mostly we do but meh, not always because sometimes, we forget or the bathroom is gross or whatever. Wait, TMI?? Anyway, glad that we have an excuse to eat our boogers. My 5yo will be thrilled. :) Awesomely funny, Joy!!

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    1. Well, before my son any spider was unwelcome guest and treated as such: Squish City. But him being a hyper boy, and having boy cousins he got enough violence inherited into his blood, so I taught him to take them outside. To this day if he's not around? Dead. Deadzies. Deadwood.
      We almost never wash my 2 yr old's hands, and those things get really filthy!

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  10. I'm going to email this post to my husband, who until now I thought was pretty common sensible about these things. Yesterday, I informed him that our youngest had diarrhea and his nose is running, so the hubs looks at me all serious and says, "Do you think he's okay?" and I'm all, "Yeaaaah, I'm just telling you he's got the runs out of two orifices. why?" and then I realized he's worried about friggin' ebola! I died. What a goober.

    And nothing I read the rest of the week will stick with me like, "there are mites having sex on your face." HAHAHAHAHA

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    1. Ha. Well in his defense, the news alternates between telling us not to worry and making it seem like the end of the world. Again.
      Glad I made an impact :)

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  11. I have this feeling you and I read a lot of the same things on-line. Just out of curiosity - how much time to you spend on Discover Magazine's website?

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    1. Not as much as I should! I read a lot of geeky sites right now, for whatever reason. But I do love them, and Science magazine. Most people don't want to hear about actual real-life science. Or think about what is happening at a microscopic level.

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  12. Oh my lord, the entire hospital where I work is freaking out about Ebola because a lot of our direct care staff are from West Africa. I'm like... you're definitely much more likely to die because one of your coworkers loses his shit and offs you, kay?

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    1. I cannot even IMAGINE a hospital during this time. My doctor said she gets enough of people diagnosing themselves via Google, this is going to be nutso.
      You're right, especially with the drunken nurse!

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  13. My son is 19 and eats about 5 things: hamburgers, pizza, chicken, refried beans and ham. He's 6'3" and never sick and he DOESN'T EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING THAT ACTUALLY GREW IN THE GROUND (except the beans). Don't be stupid, people, but don't be such freakin' paranoids, either.

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    1. Ha, sounds familiar! My nephew survived off of chicken nuggets and chips and salsa for years. A friend of my son's dad ate nothing but cheese pizza for about 3 years of his life. He would go 2 days without eating anything and his mother would cave. 2 more days, pizza. Eventually she gave up. That kid is a grown man in the FBI now! I wonder how many different things he eats now ? Anyway, teenagers are gross and somehow they charge on!

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  14. The good news is I'm no longer worried about Ebola. However, I am totally freaked out about the mites having sex on my face...probably right this minute.

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    1. No, the article I read said they stay in your follicles and come out at NIGHT, when you're sleeping, to mate. Also, they're microscopic so I wouldn't worry. If that's at all possible.

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  15. Why? Why did you have to mention the mites? I know they are around, but seriously? I like that your son's only food group is Flamin Hot Cheetos.

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    1. Well, someone has to keep you on your toes and gross you out once in awhile, right? The good news is: They were always there, they're microscopic, they don't eat much ;)
      I'm sure he eats other stuff, like pizza and chips, but he definitely prefers processed foods to anything natural. Even cheese! He would rather have banana peppers from a jar than fresh from the farmers market. Teenagers are gross.

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  16. Now my eyelashes itch. Thanks a lot. It's going to take days to get that out of my sick little brain.

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    1. hahaha they were always there, just fcking on your face :)

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  17. I had a roommate in college who was somewhat of a hypochondriac. That was pre-WebMD days. These days she's a whirling dervish of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and the like. I'll send her your little diagnostic questionnaire. So helpful.

    I knew about the mites, although I didn't think much about how they reproduce, so that is the one tidbit that's going to keep me up at night.

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    1. Sorry about that, but they ARE microscopic and won't hurt you. Make peace with your ecosystem! Like Nemo and the anemone.

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  18. LOVE this post! A lot of people are terrified of Ebola---they think it's the start of the zombie apocalypse or something. Hey, I also knew about the mites but not the part about having sex on my face. I may not ever sleep again.

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    1. Sorry about that. But on the bright side, I'm sure there will be something even more terrifying on the news tomorrow that will make us all forget about our eyelashes mites again.

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  19. Have to confess... didnt make it past the title. .. too nauseous this morning. ... but im intrigued and must return!

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    1. Hope you're feeling better. You're not missing anything here. You know my stance on germs, we embrace them here in Comfytown!

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