Snark Infested Waters ~ Bob Edwards

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Bugged to death

Posted on July 11, 2019 by Bob Edwards

Many readers are now realizing that the biggest immediate threat to humanity is not global warming, but humans and all the super-germs we’re spreading.

Yep.  Not only are we and our environment-altering activities  (coal-fired power plants, carbon-belching automobiles, belching cows, more wineries) responsible for global warming, it turns out that we’ve been overdosing on antibiotics to such an extent that bacteria – way smarter and more prolific than teenagers when it comes to reproduction – have been learning to make themselves immune to antibiotic drugs.  

This has rendered many once-miraculous drugs ineffective against diseases that were once the Scourge of Humanity, and may soon be again. 

Those who aren’t drug addicts and smuggly think they’re safe from the Opioid Epidemic that is killing thousands should nevertheless think twice about sharing a simple kiss, or sips from the same beer, or shaking hands unless they know where that other hand has been.  And contrary to popular belief, stubborn STD’s can be ‘T”d even without having “S”, which might be the ultimate in Bad Luck.

Many bacteria are so drug-resistant that they actually welcome the Antibiotic Challenge.  When ol’ Doc Stone squirts penicillin into a feverish patient who has been overloading his bedpan, an alert nurse with stethoscope can sometimes hear a tiny bacterial chorus shouting:  “Party over here!”

 Drug resistance is spreading, thanks in part to use of antibiotics beyond that needed to treat a specific infected human.  E.g., by farmers and other food producers to control infections in their soon-to-be-dead animals and plants. Such overuse enables bacteria and evil fungi to ‘learn’ how to become immune to them, using the eons-old biological processes of Evolution – the very processes that evolved smart humans out of dumb apes and (with the help of Fox News) vice-versa.   

It’s reached the point where many once-effective antibiotics can no longer kill some bacteria and may even make them nastier.  Thus, when infected patients begin filling the porcelain with prodigious amounts of bodily fluids, hospitals – which are nothing if not giant Event Centers for bacteria brought there by sick people — can quickly become dangerous places to be.

Developing new drugs sounds like an answer, until one realizes that fashioning a new and safe antibiotic often takes years of research and billions of dollars.  This means that unless one is or is related to a billionaire, one may not be able to afford new antibiotics drugs unless covered by Trumpcare or Medicare For All, one of which will replace Obamacare as soon as Congress decides whose health to insure, when, for how much, and why bother. 

As an article in the NY Times recently explained,  stopping the spread of drug-resistant bacteria will require global transparency in sharing information about outbreaks, as well as the latest research in the development of new antibiotics and methods to reduce overuse that, even with new drugs, will only perpetuate the problem.

There is some good news, however.  To avoid creating drug-resistance bugs, some farmers have stopped using antibiotics in raising animals for slaughter.   Nonetheless, animals aren’t particularly fastidious and can acquire drug-resistant bacteria from other sources; e.g., the fertilizer used to grow plants that they – and we — eat.   

And who hasn’t wondered: 

~Did the waiter really wash his hands after going to the toilet?   

~Can I get Plague from a laptop keyboard freshly populated with germs from that door handle I – and scores of nose-picking, butt-scratching strangers – used to enter the building a few minutes ago? 

Nah.  Probably not.



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