Mark and I have gone on six cruises now, and we’ve both been asked, several times, “aren’t you afraid of getting sick?”, or, “have you ever gotten sick on a cruise?”. The answer: no. I used to worry about the Norovirus; how could I not after hearing news reports that hundreds of people on the same ship would get sick with it.
What is this odd virus that thrives in Cruise Ships? Would it get me? Our latest ship had “Purell Liquid Gel” stations everywhere, with crew members standing by them, encouraging everyone who walked by to use it.
We didn’t, not once. That stuff’s dangerous – seriously, and useless, as I’ll explain.
As a matter of fact, I haven’t used a commercial soap product in 3 years now, and that includes two Nascar races ( do you know how many people go to those things?), Verizon Center, 4H shows, the gym, airports, trains, etc.
Why? Me not getting sick has more to do with the strength of my IMMUNE SYSTEM, than any soap or alcohol-based hand gel. That’s 3 separate issues: Purell gel, anti-bacterial soaps, and the immune system. Read this, because this applies to our kids also.
One: studies on Purell’s effectiveness against the Norovirus actually show it’s IN-effectiveness against the Norovirus. Check out the research done at Emory University, School of Public Health, here. Obviously, Purell didn’t fund this study. The results: Purell doesn’t work very well against the Norovirus; soap and water were more effective.
What I found most interesting? 30% of everyone PURPOSELY INFECTED WITH THE NOROVIRUS – DIDN’T GET SICK. Now that caught my eye.
Two: studies on commercial anti-bacterial soaps that contain the agents “triclosan” and “triclocarbon” show some pretty damning evidence. An expert panel convened by the FDA determined that there’s “insufficient evidence” that anti-bacterial soaps actually offer any more protection than soaps minus the anti-bacterial agents.
Here’s the REAL bad news on anti-bacterial soaps: our skin is actually SUPPOSED TO BE TEEMING WITH BILLIONS OF BACTERIA. It’s a line of immune defense put there from God. Studies show that when these bacteria are exposed repeatedly to triclosan and triclocarbon, Genetic Mutations Happen. This is bad. I can’t even link to one study – there’s too many. Google it if you’re interested.
Studies also show that triclosan disrupts thyroid function, muscle function ( your heart is a muscle), and imitates estrogen ( a xenoestrogen). So, it slows thyroid, muscles, and imitates estrogen? Hello body fat, fatigue, and moobs!
Want further reason to stay away from antibacterial soaps? Triclosan was introduced in 1969… as a Pesticide; and today it’s still registered as a pesticide, although aside from this and its uses in personal care products, it’s also widely used for industrial uses, for instance it is incorporated in conveyor belts, fire hoses, dye bath vats, or ice-making equipment as an antimicrobial pesticide. ( More reason to read the labels.)
We rub this stuff on our CHILDREN!!
Okay, point 3. Our Immune System. 30% of people PURPOSELY infected with Norovirus in the study DIDN’T GET SICK.
WHEN WE GET SICK IT’S NOT BECAUSE WE’RE DEFICIENT IN CHEMICALS OR PHARMACEUTICALS. EVER. We get sick when our immune system is weak and can’t fight pathogenic virus and bacteria.
What do Most people do on a Cruise? Drink EXCESSIVE alcohol, eat EXCESSIVE amounts of immune depressing foods(sugar and processed carbs), and stay up way too late. This is the PERFECT RECIPE FOR DEPRESSING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. Seriously, it’s perfect.
How do we keep ourselves strong and resistant? Eat Real Whole Foods, stay away from grains, sugar, and chemicals, SLEEP, practice stress reduction, and exercise. Simple. As for handwashing, use pure soaps, like Castile soap, or Dr. Bronners. Want to know more? Read this.
Again, our health really is in our own hands. Pun Intended.