The newspapers today are full of the term “second wave”. It sounds quite pleasant, a second goodbye to a loved one as they leave for the train station in a black taxi. This “second wave” however, is a lot more sinister. Yes, we will be better organised if we have the same level of infections, but this will be in the cold season. Yes, the medics have developed skills in how to deal with patients, but the volume of people infected will be much higher.
I have searched the web as to why flu is more prevalent in winter than in summer, and I really think that most of the commentators are, and I hate to say this, guessing. They all give a “combination” of reasons, no one give a single definitive reason and this makes me a tad suspicious. When I am in trouble for an answer to a given question, I will try to widen the field of answers as much as possible, it’s called, if you’re not sure, cover your ass, give as many answers as possible and maybe one of them will be correct. It is little wonder that we have never achieved a cure for colds and flu when the experts just can’t agree.
Perhaps the truth is, we just don’t know if a second wave will materialise, it’s okay to say that. Perhaps we are unsure whether or not we will get a vaccine, and yes, as of now, we don’t know what the long-term effects of covid are. One of the few things that has been reinforced to us is that our life style and our attitude to hygiene has to change. For years we have known that a significant number of people don’t wash their hands after using the bathrooms, any night out in a pub will tell you this. We all have heard that peanuts in a bowl in a bar are generally contaminated with urine. One result showed that a tested bowl of peanuts in a bar had 27 different people’s urine scattered among the nuts. Here are some other less known facts, (well, items purported to be facts on the internet), fast food ice can be dirtier than toilet water, 72% of shopping trolleys have a positive marker for fecal bacteria and the list of disgusting facts goes on and on.
Maybe it is time to stop high fiving people, why are we shaking hand with virtually every Tom Dick (and I pick the name very carefully) and Harry who we meet. It’s time to adjust our social behaviour. It’s time to change our outlook on hygiene. One of the things that has been drilled into us about the spread of covid is the need for washing and sanitising our hands. The vast majority of people who contracted covid, didn’t get it because someone sneezed on them, they got it by touching something that someone else had touched. This contaminated their hands and their hand delivered the, all too often, fatal virus to their bodies when they touched their nose or mouth. Perhaps the most import lesson we will come away with from this pandemic is that we must wash our hands when the opportunity presents itself, and sanitise them as often as possible between washes. Stay clean for your own health and for everyone else’s health.