Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ten million years of evolution down the drain.

Grade schools in Oregon, public health officials in Georgia and nursery schools in Tennessee now teach kids to cough and sneeze in their elbows. The Lake County, Ill., Health Department recommends elbow coughing to help prevent the spread of whooping cough, or pertussis. The Montgomery County Health Department in Maryland endorses it; so does the Colorado Children's Immunization Coalition.
"They've been doing it since kindergarten; it's an automatic reflex for them," says Nessan, a teacher at Meridian Park public elementary school in the Shoreline section of Seattle.
Over the past decade or so, schools and day-care centers around the country have gradually adopted the technique as a way to ward off colds, flu, whooping cough and other easily transmitted bugs. It's been replacing the traditional cover-your-mouth-with-your-hands-or-a-tissue approach that has long been considered the polite and most sanitary technique.
You have to be careful though, to not touch anything with your elbow after coughing in it. Do not to put your elbow in your mouth, eyes or nose, and if your elbow touches a table or other hard surface, both it and the elbow must be scrubbed with a sanitary cleanser containing bleach and a damp cloth.
Then, the surface should be flame-treated to insure that all disease-causing germs are dead, and the remaining surface area should be placed into a shredding device so that the shards do not cause any spread of remaining bacteria.
After the surface is thoroughly shredded, the remaining shreds should be steamed and burned at a temperature not less than 300 degrees Fahrenheit for no less than twelve minutes. The resulting smoke should not be breathed, so you will need to wear protective gloves and a face mask. If you do accidentally breathe in the smoke, your lungs will have to be flushed with a mixture of propane, peroxide and alcohol for six minutes in a sterile environment.
Once the smoke dissipates into the atmosphere, nearby aircraft must be warned of its presence so they will not accidentally use the air in their cabin air systems.
If that happens, the plane will be shot down by the Air Force and the shredding process started again.
Just don't cough, OK?


Pinewolf said...

That's why everyone's appendix bursts. All the germaphobes took away the need for it so it blows up for spite.

The Caveman said...

Remember when germaphobes were looked at as being paranoid idiots? Now everybody's a germaphobe.

Anthony said...

I remember when I was being called a paranoid idiot. Now, at least I'm not an idiot.

And I still have my appendix.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

I like George Carlin's theory on germs. He says that years swimming in the east river tempered him against germs. He makes the case that our immune system needs practice or it won't be up for the fight when necessary. I think there might be some truth in that. I love George.

Anthony said...

I think that's the knock against hand sanitizers. Too much prevention weakens the body. It's like never taking the training wheels off a bicycle.
At least the flu shot introduces a small amount of virus and makes the body fight it off.

But how did we ever think that sneezing and coughing into our hands was a good idea to begin with? It's like spitting into your hand, and we don't encourage that, do we?

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

I agree with you Anthony. I've been sneezing/coughing into my elbow/arm for years now for that very reason of spitting.