The Old Coot says stop the madness

It’s time to take off the gloves. The latex and rubber gloves that food-handlers are forced to wear, either by their employers or local health department bureaucrats.  Unfortunately, neither party is adept at undoing wrong-headed policies that prove to be ineffective. 

Prohibition didn’t stop the sale of alcoholic beverages; 55-mile per hour speed limits didn’t stop cars from driving 65. Making marijuana illegal didn’t stop the sale or consumption. Prohibition took 13 years to undo. The 55-mile per hour speed limit took more than two decades to undo. Mary-Jane sales have been illegal by federal regulation since 1970. (Though some states are bucking the rules.) 

History is ripe with examples of the turtle pace at which bureaucratic institutions move to correct failed policies. While society at large says, “What took you so long?”

The same scenario is playing out with the overdone rubber glove mandate. I was in a PUBLIX supermarket the other day to get a loaf of their five-grain, Italian bread. (Try it; you’ll like it! But you have to be in the southern part of the country to find a Publix.) There was only a single loaf on the shelf, and it wasn’t sliced. I took it over to the bakery counter and caught the eye of a woman in the back sweeping the floor. 

“Can you run this through the slicer,” I asked. “Sure,” she responded. “I was just tidying up while a new batch of bread is in the oven.” 

She reached over to a box of gloves, yanked two out, wiggled them on, picked up my loaf of bread and took it out of the plastic wrapper. 

“Don’t you hate putting on those stupid gloves,” I asked.  

She said she hated it, had to do it many, too many, times a day. Half the time they rip, especially at the wrist when there is any resistance to getting her fingers in. 

What a dangerous world I grew up in. NO RUBBER/LATEX gloves. Cooks, waiters, bakers handled food barehanded. It is amazing that our species didn’t come to an end. Yet, here we are now, a germophobic society, absorbing hand sanitizer chemicals, and putting food handlers into gloves. For no reason!  

We actually need interaction with germs, bacteria, and other non-sanitized substances. It’s how the body builds its defense mechanism. We are sanitizing ourselves into health challenges. (That’s not a scientifically proven hypothesis, just common ‘old coot’ sense.) 

If we lived before the hyped up glove advocates took over society I guess we can turn back the clock and survive. (A question – What about the germs on the bread wrapper that were transferred to the baker’s gloves? Where did they go?)

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