The Germ Paradox


“I think germs are ugly. I don’t like them because you can only kill 99%. There’s always that 1% that’s out to get you.”

Ahh, the germ paradox. So can we all just agree that yes, germs are ugly? Ok? Set? Good. Now onto the good stuff.


Let’s define germs, so that we’re all on the same page. For all intents and purposes, a germ is a disease-causing microorganism. Yes? Fine? Good. Like I’ve mentioned earlier in the week, some seriously awesome horror movies can be spawned off of this. But I’m pretty sure they’ve already done flicks on germs. (The Germ, Contagion, The Seventh Seal, etc.) But the scariest part of these skin peeling, nerves testing, gag reflex pushing movies is that more often than not, they are plausible. If not based on a true story. Take movies like Contagion for example. It’s a Hollywood-ized, romanticized, Damon-ized story that COULD ACTUALY HAPPEN. With all the travel and close contact we have today, spreading an airborne disease would be so easy it makes me want to crawl into a hole and never breath near another human again. Ever.

These theories are pretty mainstream, too. It’s not a secret that the best way to annihilate the human population of Earth is either: A) Nuclear War; B) Airborne Toxic Event; or C) Dragons. If I was going to take us out, I would choose option B. (Mostly because A is too expected, and C is too cliché) All you have to do is release a quick-mutating disease that is spread my contact or, even better, is airborne. Then you’re set. Just sit back and watch the world burn. Because if you’re planning something like this, then you don’t want money, fame, love, success. You just want to watch the world burn.

So how is all this nonsense a paradox? Well, in our race to cleanse ourselves of these disease causing germs, we have invented marvelous chemicals that you can spray all over your house, in your clothes, and even rub on your hands right before you eat. How wonderful! They are actually. Well, most of them. Where would we be without soaps and sanitation? If you said “The Black Plague” you are correct! I also would have accepted “Europe in the Dark Ages”. One of the reasons The Plague spread so fast was the lack of sanitation and the abundance of clothes sharing, (like with dead people). So now we wash our hands and don’t catch The Plague. But the one catch on all these great products is that little sticker that reads: Kills 99% of Germs! So while you’re washing your hands, killing off the 99%, that 1% is NOT DYING. In fact, they’re getting stronger, they’re becoming resilient. And in time that 1% will become the 99%, only the chemicals will only be able to kill the 1%.

The paradox is that whilst trying to destroy the germs that can harm us, we are making them stronger and harder to kill. Hence an eternal battle between humans and germs that we will never win because we can’t kill all the bacteria because we need bacteria to survive. Yet at he same time, germs are taking lives everyday. So where does it end? It doesn’t. That’s a paradox.

Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.



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