Dust Masks No Help Against SARS, but Prevent Cooties
TORONTO, ON (SP) — With most local pharmacies and medical supply stores sold out of surgical masks, many people have turned to hardware stores, and are donning dust masks in misguided attempts to protect themselves from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). While the dust masks do not offer sufficient filtration to prevent SARS exposure, they have been shown to be highly effective in preventing acquiring of the cooties.
World-renowned cooties expert and self-confessed germophobe Philbert H. Persnickity explained that, when in the presence of people one senses to be unclean, wearing a dust mask can only help. "We've all been in that situation, in crowded subways, or malls, or wherever. There are so many people, and so many of them are gross. If I may say it — and it is not unkindly meant — they have the cooties. Wearing any kind of mask will give you some degree of protection against the foul, cootie-laden air those dirty people breathe out." Persnickity went on to explain the benefits of always wearing gloves whenever touching anything outside the confines of a meticulously clean home.
"The world is a very dirty, dirty place. So dirty and filthy. There are germs and bacteria and cooties and filth all over the place. Before the SARS outbreak I used to wash my hands between 25 and 30 times a day. I think now it's more like 75 or 80, not including the alcohol-based disinfectant I cleanse myself with every half hour." He acknowledged that anti-bacterial soap offers no better protection than regular soap against SARS, which is caused by a virus. However, he explained that washing with anti-bacterial soap is certain to be more effective in eradicating the build-up of cooties that inevitably occurs throughout the day.
"That feeling you get that you just aren't clean — there's nothing like scrubbing your hands with a good anti-bac soap for 10 or 15 minutes, taking off those outer layers of cootie-ridden skin. Scrubbing and scrubbing, with a pumice stone. Yes, then you feel better. Dirty, so dirty."