How to Do What is Best

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Reader Comments (29)

Second panel for the win.

January 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIT'S 2014 EVERYBODY!

Ah the dangers of a little bit of knowledge but not enough :)

It's the antibiotic hand sanitizer that is the problem. The alcohol or soap based ones are fine.

January 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike

What Mike said. The problem is not hand sanitizer. The problem is overuse of antibiotics. Rubbing alcohol, the basis of most hand sanitizers, is not something microbes build up that kind of resistance to. It's not an antibiotic, it's a disinfectant (antibiotics, which in practice mostly means "antibacterials", generally won't kill fungi, for instance—penicillin is from a fungus—but rubbing alcohol will). Obsessive overuse of hand sanitizer might weaken one's immune system, just like obsessively overusing Lysol or bleach might, and that's about it.

January 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSnails

You're both wrong. The problem is clearly Jenkins.

January 23, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercurt

But cartoon Scott works in the same office as Jenkins, and Jenkins has no doubt touched many things. I think that gloves would be the way to go.

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

About the time you haze sanitized your hands so often that they are cracked and bleeding, you have lowered your resistance to infection.

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBabyDoc

2014 sighting!

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Yeah, what Mike and Snails said. As for why Jenkins was being touched, I don't wanna know.

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

Oops, the copyright in the corner says 2014!

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

There's a very good reason non-antibacterial soap doesn't have the same downside as anti-bacterial, though I wouldn't expect you to know it 'in-character' for your strip.

Normal soap doesn't kill germs. Washing things with hot soap and water just pushes them off the thing you're washing. This sounds bad, but it means those germs breed and continue to spread their lack of defense against soap. Anti-bacterials kill germs but they almost never kill quite all of them. And any population of germs exposed to anti-bacterials but not 100% killed off has a good chance of developing a resistance in future generations.

This is all highly summarized, of course, I'm not getting into the details.

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShikome Kido Mi

First 2014 copyright!!! (We cherish the little things.)

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVerifine

I don't use hand sanitizer for any sort of anti-bacterial need, I just love the smell of the alcohol. Just putting that out there.

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjan otto

http://youtu.be/X29lF43mUlo

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMister Tee

Fire!! Use fire.
Best burn down Jenkins too, maybe nuke him from orbit, you know, just to be sure.

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Are there instructions for when someone misses the point of a story or joke?

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMickle Spiffy

I, for one, welcome our new super-germ overlords.

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDB

Will the bacteria remember you favorably if you've (literally!) killed hundreds of millions of their brethren so cavalierly? Doubtful.

But Jenkins? They'll probably remember him fondly. They might even create a statue to commemorate the progenitor of their race...

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChuck

Norovirus causes approximately 90% of epidemic nonbacterial outbreaks of gastroenteritis around the world.

Most hand sanitizers (antibacterial, alcohol, antibiotics) do not have a strong effect on norovirus which is funny since they force hand sanitizer on you at almost every entrance/exit on cruise ships.

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterwqr

Marco: But cartoon Scott works in the same office as Jenkins, and Jenkins has no doubt touched many things. I think that gloves would be the way to go.

Insufficient! A full hazmat suit is the only answer.

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRedshift

Unfortunately, there is a mistaken idea (and it was even suggested in some of the comments above) that anti-bacterial sanitizers contain antibiotics. That is not the case. What anti-bacterial (more technically, anti-microbial) sanitizers contain are non-antibiotic chemical compounds (such as triclosan, for instance) that will kill a microbe in a non-antibiotic fashion. But, the end result is the same, the killing agent is not 100% effective, and the few that remain will repopulate and over time the killing agent will no longer be effective enough to be called a "sanitizer" any longer making us more susceptible to whatever the microbe may exert upon us.

As suggested above, hot water and soap do not exert that same sort of "bottle-necking" of the genome of a population of microbes... instead, the soap and water mechanically reduce population size of the microbes on the skin's surface in an indiscriminate fashion, some may be stronger, some may be weaker microbes.

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPIpeTobacco

Femi-Rick is one of those cyclic-health-wisdom drones? Ick.

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDrowlord

"That's because experts never told you to." FTW.

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames Poteet

I've seen hand sanitizer described as "holy water for atheists".

January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

But... but... but anyone applying hand sanitizer gets the germs all over the bottle as they dispense it... so simply grabbing a bottle of hand sanitizer automatically requires its use.

For the record, I never touch the stuff. I work with acetone and isopropyl every day. I don't think I need any more.

January 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIT'S 2014 EVERYBODY!

Hand sanitiser is used in hospitals to make doctors look as if they are hatching fiendish plans.

January 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJef Christensen

I, for one, welcome our one-celled overlords.

January 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

I use anti microbials when I am in doctors' offices. Many of the people who go there are sick enough to need a doctor's care, so those are germs I'd like to avoid.
Triclosan and it's kin are hormone disruptors that should be kept away from children, old people, and humans in general except for where seriously dangerous microbes may be present (hint: the common cold isn't that dangerous)
Most of the time, soap, water, and air drying are fine.
Gloves protect your hands, not anything your touch with a dirty glove, so don't rub your nose while wearing gloves and think you're safe.
All this is beside the point, though, if we're talking about Jenkins cooties. Psychic contamination is best cleared by salt, sunlight, or the smoke of burning sage (which will also clear away the person with the cooties, since it's pretty rank)

January 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDee

Obi-wan Kenobi reference noticed and appreciated, Scott.

January 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFlombert

"you must do what you think is right, of course"

January 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBen Kenobi

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