Updated: Apr 20, 2020
Hand Disinfectants, Tequila and Applied Algebra Those alcohol disinfectants heretofore mostly ignored on the grocery store shelf are now more scarce than functioning hair follicles on Bruce Willis’ scalp. Global panic ensued due to this sudden disinfectant deficiency. But necessity being the mother of invention, American business has stepped up to the challenge. True to the “spirit” of altruism (not to mention the spirit of the law), one of our essential industries, booze distilleries, have begun to convert from making tequila, vodka, gin, and the critical ingredient in Purple Passion, Everclear, to making hand disinfectant. They tell us it is a natural transition for their industry, an extension of what they already produce anyway…ethyl alcohol…AKA hand disinfectant. This stuff kills COVID, so count me in. I intend to contribute to this altruistic effort. It just so happens I have an entire cabinet full of hand disinfectant, a veritable treasure trove of COVID killers, an abundant variety of antiseptics. I once called this cabinet my bar; now I call it my “home sanitizing station.” The CDC recommends disinfecting frequently, scrubbing your hands for 20 seconds. More is better, says the CDC; do not let those COVID microscopic, spiked soccer balls gain a toehold in your nose. If 20 seconds of scrubbing is good, then 60 seconds must be three times more protective. (Concentrate, people… there's science at work here and science can be perplexing.) So, I thought, why stop with scrubbing your hands? Why not “scrub” your GI tract…beginning at your mouth, that primary portal for prevailing pestilence? After all, it is a biological fact the lining of the GI system, stem to stern, hole-to-hole, oral to anal, and every inch between is, technically speaking, “external.” (Don’t get ahead of me here; science is complicated. As a scientist, I’ll guide you through the applicable scientific method.) My working hypothesis, indeed my personal mantra, is you can never have enough disinfectant in times of pandemics and fraternity parties. Here’s my scientifically based train of thought: · At any given time, there is an epidemic occurring somewhere in the world, · Epidemics can quickly exacerbate into pandemics, · Pandemics result in panic hoarding of disinfectants (and toilet paper and hair dye and Fleischmann’s dry yeast), · You can never have enough disinfectant (or toilet paper or hair dye or Fleischmann’s dry yeast), · Alcohol is a disinfectant, · Tequila is alcohol, · Thus, tequila is disinfectant (the worm is irrelevant), · Ergo, there is never enough tequila. I can prove this hypothesis mathematically based on the algebraic theory that if A=D and T=A, then T=D where A is alcohol, D is disinfectant, and T is tequila. Similarly, if scotch leaves the station going 20 MPH, and thirty minutes later vodka leaves the station at 40 MPH, how long until vodka catches up to tequila? So, my scientific hypothesis is this: if frequent external disinfecting is effective in preventing COVID, then why isn’t internal disinfecting equally important? If alcohol is effective at killing COVID on your skin, well hey, people, the scientific hypothesis which I have been testing for decades is this: it must be good for killing COVID internally. Truth is, I have been vigorously experimenting with internal sterilization for decades...diligent digestive disinfecting, as it were. I commenced this scientific experiment in internal sterilization in a malodorous college laboratory, (aka a fraternity house), seeking to discover a universal panacea; little did I realize my internal disinfectant experiments launched half a century hence, would become an exercise in altruistic social responsibility in 2020. True to my education as a biological scientist and to my life-long dedication to the scientific method, I pledge to you and all humanity to forge ahead undaunted with my experiments. I do this not only for science, but for you, for mankind (and womankind and unisex-kind). With this dual purpose in mind, I can assure you I am now personally testing a multitude of oral sterilization solutions, trying to discover the most appropriate type, amount and frequency of dosing. This will likely take many more years of dedicated experimentation. I will keep you updated. Flash of enlightenment: Why is there a yeast shortage? Well, hello! Yeast is needed to make EtOH. Everyone is altruistic, busy making hand sanitizer. Puzzle solved. Oh yes, and the correct answer to the above algebra word problem is: vodka never catches up to tequila. Or scotch. Now follow my lead: go sanitize your GI system…doctor’s orders.