Germ theory denialism

As if we needed any more evidence that Civilization is doomed…

One of my sisters literally never washes her hands except during showers or if they get EXCESSIVELY dirty, not even after using the restroom. And yet somehow I never seen her sick all my life. I wonder if she’s somehow built up an immunity to everything, even COVID.

Being too clean can also have a downside.

Sadly, a friend is swinging this way. And yet, they wear a mask and worry about being in a crowd, so it’s not yet an internally consistent belief.

One thing I learned working at Burger King is that “clean” does not equal “sanitary.” Cleaning something refers to removing dirt, grease, etc. If you want to remove germs, you have to sanitize the object.

Having said that, when you wash your hands, the physical action does indeed remove a lot of germs–briefly. They start multiplying again rather quickly.

How do you explain when a cold sweeps through, say, an office environment? One person gets sick and before you know it, half the office is sneezy and achy? Did all of their lifestyle choices suddenly coincide? Half the workers ate the doughnuts in the office kitchen, and now their bodies are all simultaneously toxifying?

Neither mask-wearing nor fear of being in a crowd requires one to endorse the germ theory of disease for internal consistency. Indeed, the premises that crowds of people can be bad for one’s health, and that diseases may be spread through unfiltered air both seem entirely consistent with the discredited miasma theory, which preceded germ theory and posited that “bad air” and pollution were the cause of disease.

I suspect that, like most wack theories of this sort, this denialism instantly fades when push actually comes to shove.

Present such a denialist with a patient in the throes of hemorrhagic Ebola, rabies, cholera, or pustule-covering smallpox, and say, “I’ll pay you $200 if you’ll accept an injection of their infected blood into your body” and see how quickly they mumble and back away and endorse germ theory after all.

Just because people reject germ theory doesn’t mean they will happily embrace the sick or their bodily fluids. Consider how lepers were treated historically, including biblically, for instance.

I hate to say people here are straw manning what is already pseudoscientific nonsense, but… y’all are staw manning a position that is already pseudoscientific nonsense.

I ran into this last year with one of my friends who is into homeopathy. She and several of her friends reject germ theory in favor of the “environment” causing diseases. The environment including what you eat of course. I think Bill Mahr advanced a similar theory more than a decade ago on his show.

These people are not a threat to civilization. Society has always had some stupid people in it. We just need to protect them from harming themselves, as we would children.

In my experience, suggesting they back up their beliefs in this manner is met with sullen silence.

Germ theory denialism in the modern era is nothing new (take for instance people, some with scientific credentials, who argued (and still do) that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. But it’s gotten a significant boost from 1) antivaxers, and 2) those living in denial of the threat of Covid-19. Several books, one by a now-unlicensed M.D. in California, argue that viruses and other microorganisms either don’t exist or don’t cause disease. Instead we should worry about 5G and various “toxins” that are the real culprits.

Educate the educatable, and marginalize the determinedly ignorant.

nothing new.
I read an article in Mother Earth News which noted the number of people who are afraid of COVID vaccines. About ⅓. Note these people are actually afraid of the vaccine. There are many others who think they don’t need to bother. Anyway, there was an earlier poll showing that ⅓ of the US public were actually afraid of and wouldn’t get… the polio vaccine.

No, we need them to not spread their dogma to others - if they harm themselves, I’m all for it.

I don’t like to see anyone suffering. Even if they caused their own suffering through stupidity.

I hope these denialists don’t drink beer, spirits or wine.