Sleeping with the (Unseen) Enemy (In Your Own Home)

MEDICAL DISCOVERIES
Typography

(In light of the recent cholera scare, knowledge of the modus operandi and lairs of the household enemy number one would be of great help in keeping our families safe.)

The home is supposed to be the safest place on earth we could ever be. It isn't called a sanctuary for nothing. It is where we grew up, it where our loved ones are, it is where we plan to grow old, and it is where we will die. But the spate of killings in the news has challenged this honor it has been given. We hear of rape being committed by family members and people being killed right in their own home. And so the sanctity of the last bastion of our soul is no more.

But before we ever had this encroachment as we know it, it has already been the sanctuary of another enemy of mankind long before we even knew about it. To this day, even with extensive proof of their existence, some of us refuse to believe it, and some of us simply forget about it. Let's hope this article jogs the memory of those of us who refuse to believe and those who refuse to remember.

"Pwede pa yan! Wala pang 5 minutes!" This may have become a joke to many of us. But in a way, it still exemplifies how we remain in the clutches of this unseen enemy living in our midst. So here's an inventory of their favorite hiding places to guide us how we could avoid them and hopefully enable us to exterminate them.

1.Toilet Bowl

There are 3.2million psi bacteria on the toilet bowl surface. This is not a tire pressure calibration. On an area as small as a square inch, there are actually 3.2M bacteria. And that's after you've flushed it. Not while your poop is still there. So if your expensive Belo whitening soap accidentally drops into it, might as well get a new one. It's better off in the trashcan than on your skin.

2.Kitchen Drain

Washing the dishes (without a dishwasher) may look simple enough. But the fact that we lay the dinnerware on the kitchen sink means it comes into contact with the 567,845 bacteria psi multiplied by the area of the dinnerware, especially if we lay it there after having washed it. It is therefore important to wash the sink before we wash the dishes.

3.Cellphones

This ubiquitous high-tech gadget that has become a necessity for earning pogi points may actually destroy your pogi face. The Staphylococcus from your face will proliferate in the oil from your oil glands and return to your face a thousand-fold causing infected pimples. You can do your face a big favor with a swab of 70% rubbing alcohol on the surface of the cellphone.

4.Toothbrush

According to the song, kissing can make you "get enough germs to catch pneumonia". If that's true, then how much germs would a toothbrush give you? The mouth is one of the dirtiest openings of the human body. If we use the toothbrush to clean it, how come we never clean our toothbrush? It isn't too difficult to do this. One method would be to soak it in any alcohol –based mouthwash for about 30 minutes. Personally, I use the Joy Antibac. I trust that better than any mouthwash. If I'm scared to use Joy as mouthwash, it's got to be strong enough to kill germs on my toothbrush. Right?

5.Remote Control

We have been told to wash our hands before eating. But nobody told us to wash our hands before watching TV. Some of us have the habit of slouching on the couch upon arriving home right after crying out, "Honey, I'm home!", without bothering to get an answer. And we can't even remember where our hands have been. So all the grime we've touched while we were out will be transferred to the remote, which will be touched by everyone else in the house. 70% alcohol is a reliable disinfectant. Just make sure none of it gets into the crevices.

6.Computer Keyboard & Mouse

For desktop computers, it would be easy to keep it dirt free. But for those who frequent Starbucks, Coffee Bean and other hotspots for the yuppies & moneyed mall rats, keeping your laptop dirt free would be a challenge. You could make use of the neighborhood vulcanizing shop if you don't have a compressor. Spraying compressed air between the keys can easily remove dirt. Of course you can always turn it upside down to loosen the bigger particles. Or you can use a vacuum with soft brush attachment to remove stubborn dirt. And then you can use a cotton swab soaked in soapy water to clean the keys if you have dried mayonnaise or ketchup on it.

7.Wooden Cutting Board

If you're still using wood instead of fiberglass, it's about time you switched. Wood acts like a sponge for bacteria. Being a porous material, the germs will take to it like rain to a desert. But if you can't part with your wooden cutting board, here's how to lessen the chances of making it a bacterial breeding place.

Clean it with soapy water. Do not immerse as the water will be absorbed & the board will crack once it dries. Disinfect by wiping with cloth soaked in white vinegar first, then in hydrogen peroxide, and lastly drench with a solution of 1tsp "chlorox" & 1 glass of water.

8.Kitchen Floor (in front of the sink)

If you have the habit of walking barefoot around the house, the kitchen sink would be a good place to break that habit. And in houses where a doormat is placed there to "catch" the water spilling off the sink, bacteria would have a heyday going forth to multiply. By the millions.

9.Back of Appliances

If there's such a thing as a "skeleton in the closet", there is also such a thing as "everything dirty behind your appliances". Being heavy, electrical appliances are seldom moved. And so are the dirt and their resident bacteria. And sometimes these are the hidden triggers for those with asthma or allergies. Cleaning these parts will involve heavy muscle work. And you have to use some help. But make sure to unplug before you start.

10.Doorknobs

Unless you have a high-tech house with a door that opens once it "sees" you coming, the doorknob will be the first thing you will touch when you reach home coming from the outside world, with all the bacteria you have collected. Make sure therefore that you wipe it with alcohol from time to time.

There are many more places where we can find bacteria ready to make us sick. The key is in having regular cleaning and in throwing away whatever is unnecessary. Remember, the more surface areas we have in the house, the more surface areas there are available for breeding bacteria, the more enemies we have in our midst ready to pounce on us when we least suspect it. We may break our backs cleaning the house day in and day out, but if we do not reach the seldom reached nooks and crannies, we won't be able to restore our sanctuary to the sanctuary it was supposed to be in the first place.