‘A little bit of dirt is good for you’, didn’t our grannies used to say that when we were young? In fact there are plenty of theories that the rise in allergies and asthma in young children is because they are no longer exposed to germs in the same way as previous generations.
Now Boots is full of hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes and even the ‘quality’ papers run regular scare stories highlighting our daily exposure to new strains of bacteria and fuelling our phobias.
So the story this week that children in Scotland could face losing their outdoor nursery, The Secret Garden, because they have nowhere to wash their hands, despite the regular use of wipes and sanitiser, would probably leave our elderly relatives rather confused.
Have we evolved this far? We invent ‘wonder’ products to keep our hands clean when we’re out and about without the need for soap and water, but apparently what we really need is good old-fashioned soap and water after all?
Confusing, isn’t it?