Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Power of Purell

What would we do without hand sanitizer? It may just be the placebo effect, but I feel better when I've got some handy near the altar. Right now I have a bit of a stomach bug, but am still going to preside at the noon Eucharist. I will use the Purell before the lavabo and I hope I will not transmit any germs or bugs or anything.

A friend sent me a message about my Purell jones: "There are some studies to suggest that the alcohol (Purell is alcohol based) does not kill viruses like flu or whatever causes the "stomach bug." It does have an effect on meaner viruses like Hepatitis. Reason being the lower grade stuff is not encapsulated. Some of the more serious viruses are and the alcohol kills off the encapsulation. The more prevalent viruses don't have this encapsulation and fare better through the alcohol. This is all from a small study at Yale. Now, I did read about a different product called Soapopular that is used in the UK and does not use alcohol but instead uses something else and may be more effective on the typical viruses we come across."

May be true, but I'll go with what I can get domestically, namely, Purell and similar stuff.

If parishioners are hacking and coughing, I always use it after the Peace...again, I don't want to pass anything along that was passed to me.

When swine flu was around and people were nervous, we instituted the "elbow bump of peace." Some folks were even more careful, and used "the gingerly little wave of peace." We all have our little things that make us feel like we are in control of our environment and our health...whatever makes you feel safer is fine by me.

It would be awful if I caused one of my parishioners to get sick. Of course, they've passed their bugs to me on a number of occasions, but it seems like an occupational hazard. Still, I'm grateful for the Purell, even if it can't kill off everything to which I might be exposed.

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