04 December 2014

open wounds

Something that I think about every now and then, when I have a cut - which let's face it, happens a lot - is how little I worry about infection here. 

I mean, yeah. If I had something amputated, I would worry. If I had serious surgery, I would worry. That antibiotic-resistant bacteria stuff is not playing.

But compared to the humid climate and, okay, let's be honest, all the playing in the dirt I did as a kid, in a place where most houses did not have indoor plumbing, I really don't do much to care for things like cuts. 

We were never a hydrogen peroxide family. We were a soap and water family. 

I don't even know if I own anti-bacterial ointment. 

Literally all I do when I have a cut (unless it is actively bleeding, in which case I do own some bandaids, somewhere) is occasionally wash my hands. At the times when I would always wash my hands, like after using the toilet. 

It feels too simple, somehow. 

Although I probably did the exact same thing in Rwanda.

This is the sort of thing one thinks about when living in a mostly sterile place like Gone West after spending so much time in different parts of Africa. It isn't that the places I lived in Africa were more germy necessarily so much as that everyone spends all this time warning you when you travel to Africa about how you are going to die from the germs because lack of running water toileting upstream from drinking water no place to wash your hands whatever. 

Nobody even talks about that here. And don't pretend to me that it's because people are so much cleaner. I use public restrooms. For every person paranoid about touching anything in there, there is a person leaving without washing her hands. 

I think it's all in the running water. When waste disappears nicely down a toilet, there is so much less chance of encountering it than any other method, and so no one thinks to worry.

Then again, let's not even get started on how we spread MRSA here. Yikes.

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