What surprised me was the follow-up care. I had visions of antiseptic sprays and sterile bandages. Infection can be a big problem. No such drama. Keep it dry, wash it once a day and cover it to keep the dirt out. Is that all? It is hard to generate sympathy with “keep it clean and dry”. It seems that the natural body defenses are adequate to deal with most of the attacks. Coagulants in the blood and natural skin oils are enough to keep the bad bugs out.
I am rereading a book called None of These Diseases. A medical doctor takes a look at many of the scourges of society. The updated version that I am reading now even deals with HIV. He does not claim that righteous people will never get sick. The point he makes is that if people would follow the patterns of behavior laid out in the Bible, much of the illness that claims lives and ruins families could be avoided.
He points out that simple Old Testament ceremonial laws about washing and separation of people who have touched dead things would have saved millions of lives, long before we understood germ theory. He goes into great detail on the benefits of circumcision. I had never heard of “fatal penile cancer” before. He said that of 1,103 cases not one had occurred in a Jewish man.p77 He quotes similar statistics regarding cervical cancer in Jewish women. The most startling point he makes is that in Africa where HIV is of epidemic proportions,
“Uncircumcised men were up to eight times more likely to become infected with AIDS.”, p. 75He cites several journals that list the research.
You can be like the doctors that originally denied that they needed to wash their hands as they made rounds in the hospital. The doctor who advocated washing and demonstrated that it dramatically reduced deaths was hounded out of the profession. You can deny facts and live in the world of fantasy or think again about the standards that God has set down.
Until then, keep it clean and keep it dry.
homo unius libri
McMillen, S.I. and Stern, David E. None of These Diseases. Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell,
Third Edition, 2000.