Is there a definition for a germophobe? I wonder. I mean, I would guess, that I am one of those. Germophobes. I am kind of a chronic hand washer and I spend a lot of my hard-earned dollars buying anti-bacterial hand gel. I avoid public bathrooms as much as humanly possible, but if I am absolutely desperate, I make sure to flush with my feet and open doors with paper towel. I don’t really even like hand-shaking and please, whatever you do, do not ask me for a sip of my drink. You might force me to decide how clean I think your mouth is. The word on the street is that my dog Indiana’s mouth is cleaner. I make restaurant choices based on the chances of picking up a foodborne pathogen; chicken is usually low on the list. I rarely order the chicken.Nothing good ever came from ordering the chicken.
The interesting thing, though, is that this self-proclaimed germophobe went to see Contagion this week.
You know what Contagion is, right? (
It’s the one that’s not Outbreak.) It’s that star-studded movie about the infectious disease that kills a giant percentage of the population because of Gwyneth Paltrow.
Yes. I saw it.
Because here’s the rub. I am absolutely fascinated by epidemiology: endemics, epidemics, pandemics. I even, at one point, dreamed of working at the CDC in Atlanta. You know what those letters stand for? The Centers for Disease Control. You know what they do there? They study these things; they HANDLE these things. They use words like Live Virus and some people even work in rooms that require giant jumpsuits, not dissimilar to Marty McFly’s anti-radiationÂ suit used to handle plutonium and to convince his dad that he was Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan.
You would think that I would run completely in the opposite direction and never look back. But somehow, the study of these things; knowing how they work, how they spread, how they are prevented, makes me feel more comfortable. Also, it’s pretty effing fascinating.It makes no sense, really.I KNOW.Â But to be honest, if we’re all gonna die…it would be interesting to see how Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard andÂ Laurence Fishburne would be able to save me. And Jude Law too. Only without that damn snaggletooth they gave him for the movie. Was this really necessary? Really? I’m already fighting a battle I can’t win with his receding hairline…now you’re giving him JewelMouth? But, at least he may have a hazmat suit to share.
Also, I’m never ever ever ever touching my face again.
Or Gwyneth Paltrow’s.