First Things First

Who does not like that warm and fuzzy feeling of soft fleece blanket in a cold winter afternoon.  It’s a holiday.  All the shopping is done, all gifts unwrapped, walnut pie was already licked off sticky fingers and you are relaxed, content and drifting in and out of sleep curled up on the sofa.

Decorative lights are blinking in rainbow colors mixing with the soft glow of TV screen whispering in your ear the idea that you do need new dishwashing liquid . SO Much better than the one on your kitchen counter !And,  yes, of course, firmly promising to help you  get rid of all germs rotting on ketchup stained plates from last night.

You are not even listening to what the TV says. It is just the background noise. Or are you ?

Being so softly lullabied under the blanket you  simply forget that even when you sleep, your antenna don’t. They absorb like thirsty sponges every sound and word. The mind is off guard, on automatic pilot, still shifting through the images of all the gifts you have received and readily helping you understand the meaning of the ad for the dishwashing liquid.

Well, it is all about germs. Nasty enemies contaminating your dishes and risking your health if you do not scrub them to death with the new product.

Dirty dishes- nasty germs-I can get sick-FEAR!

It boils down to the creepy feeling of fear that starts to crawl under the cozy blanket. All of a sudden the current of fear spreads like a fire all over your body, pulling like a string memories of every sickens you ever had thanks to the germs.

From the very young age we were thought to fear germs. Wash your hands! cover your mouth when you sneeze! Don’t cough in my face!

But, first things first !

Let’s travel back in time!

Let’s track down the person who discovered the germs.  Antonie van Leeuwenhoek , commonly known as Father of Microbiology noticed animalcules  ( Latin for “small animal”) under the lens of his microscope. To his astonishment , their tiny transparent bodies  were rushing in quick motion. He eagerly exchanged his excitement with the Royal Society in London and the scientific world of his time.

From then on, science progressed and so much more was discovered about the animalcules, their names were changed based on the taxonomy of complex scientific divisions. Today we call them microbes, bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, prions, archaea, helminths, we divide them into groups and subgroups and we learn through scientific experiments what these nasty creatures can do to out health.

Shudder of fear ! Just remembered that these invisible beings can be lethal weapons and thank God to all the discoveries of the science to help us in the battle against the invisible army.

But let us not put our time travel machine to sleep yet. Let us leave the beautiful Dutch landscapes from 1600s behind .

Fast forward time and here we meet Ilya Metchinkoff, Nobel Prize winner in 1908. Thanks to his work, health and longevity promoting bacteria were discovered and today we praise them and consume in the form of probiotics.

Uh ! Sigh of hope ! Maybe it is not all so bad !

All germs were not created equal . But of course, this is the Universe of duality. Good and bad have to contrast each other and keep us swinging back and forth on the never stopping seesaw. To the right and than left, from the left to the right, pendulum never stops, good germs , bad germs, on and on, it just goes.

That is why I say today, first things first.  First meet the invisible creatures that we will be blogging about.  A lot more is to come as we dive into their world.

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