hand washing
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ARLINGTON, VA – The world of medicine has been rocked early this morning with the release of new recommendations by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) that completely undermines one of the cornerstones of medical thought for centuries and does so in an effectively blunt manner: “All that stuff about handwashing?  Yeah, it’s bullsh*t.  I repeat: Handwashing is bullsh*t.”

hand washingAn excerpt from the new IDSA guideline reads: “After evaluating all the data, we have decided that there is little to no evidence to support the use of handwashing, and that handwashing as a whole is really just an utter load of… well, you know.”

Infectious diseases expert Jonathan Atomos explains.

“I think it’s common sense really,” starts Atomos, who wears a pin on his lapel that reads F*** Soap.  “Think about it.  Bacteria, viruses, and fungi are way smarter than we are.  They’ve been outsmarting us since the beginning.  Bugs become resistant in a snap.  We threw penicillin at bugs; they became resistant and survived.  We threw RIPE at tuberculosis; they became resistant and survived.  We have multidrug-resistant TB now.  We even have extensively drug-resistant TB, for crying out loud.  And don’t get me started on Ebola.  Now, you mean to tell me that H2O and some Dove is the secret?  Come on, now.  The IDSA got this one right.”

Infectious diseases specialist Zooey Rigby agrees.

“Think about a patient you’ve had under contact precautions, they probably had something like MRSA or Pseudomonas, right?” explains Rigby, as she spits into her hands and rubs them together before evaluating a patient.  “Isn’t it fascinating that under the old guidelines the trick against these powerful microorganisms was just some flimsy yellow gowns, soap, and water?”

The IDSA deliberated for several months before ultimately coming down with their final recommendations.  Instead of looking at highly-powered, multi-center, randomized controlled trials, they took a different approach this time around and found evidence in other forms: hearsay, anecdotes, and everyday observation.

Several key observations swayed IDSA committee members to make the historic about-face in their stance on handwashing: If water is so great, why do we have conditions like hot-tub lung due to Mycobacterium avium complex or Pseudomonas hot-foot syndrome?  If soap is so great, why do people who wash daily still get MRSA boils?  If the combination of water and soap is so mind-blowing, then why does bacteria form that nasty slime at the base of porcelain sinks and tubs?  Is washing one’s hands over and over again worth all the skin chafing?

After considering these observations, the IDSA committee decided unanimously: (1) WTF, (2) Handwashing is bullsh*t, and (3) Utter bullsh*t.

Not surprisingly, an excerpt shows that the IDSA position on hand sanitizers is similar: “Considering that they do nothing to remove dirt and grime, hand sanitizers are pretty darn useless too and full of… well, you know.”

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