The One Percenters That Worry Me.

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I am sure that you have seen and heard commercials for soaps, kitchen cleaners, hand sanitizers, even dish washing machines that boast about how effective the product is in killing germs.  It seems like they all claim that their product kills 99% or 99.9% of germs. Well that sounds great and I am all for having fewer germs around.  But I have to wonder about that other 0.1% to 1% of germs.

These are the germs that I am concerned about.  Are these germs just the smartest germs and they see the germ killing product coming so they quickly run and take cover, surviving to infect me on another day?  Are these germs just the strongest germs and they just face the product head on and stumble away,  in a weakened state, but survive to wreak havoc another day? Perhaps these are the nastiest and meanest germs that just laugh at and make fun of the anti-bacterial products as they go about their business like nothing has happened?  Or, the most frightening scenario, maybe these germs are zombie germs that have had all the life sucked out of them by the cleaning products, but continue on in a half dead state searching for a body (and brain!) to infect? 

Who cares about the wimpy 99% of germs that any old household cleaner can take care of?  I want to know about the super human, cannot be stopped, take no prisoners, won’t stop until I am sick from them kind germs!

I remember shopping for a dish washer several years ago.  We entered the store and told the anxious young man what we were looking for.  He immediately took us to a machine that was priced about twice what we were willing to pay and boldly proclaimed that this machine killed 99.9% of germs.  I was tempted to ask him two questions: 1) Tell me about the fraction of a percent of the germs that this machine does not kill, what are they like? and 2) Can you provide me with a list of the 99.9% of germs this machine does kill?  Since I knew I was not buying that machine and, based on his high pressure techniques, I was not likely to buy anything from that store, I held my tongue.  But I do wish I had asked.

Come to think of it, our dish washer has been making some funny sounds lately.  Perhaps. I will be in the market for a new machine before long and this time I will be asking about those germs that the machine is not capable of eliminating.




4 thoughts on “The One Percenters That Worry Me.

  1. Bob Weidner

    Maybe that is mersa and cancer. Never thought of that until today. That is why we are having such a hard time killing these bugs. they are In the 1%. Dern Burn you have done it again Leonard, made me think!!!


    1. J.L.

      Bob: In the early years of my teaching career, one of my students once said, “Mr. –, I don’t like to think. It makes muh brain hurt.”



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