Infection Control

0216. Infection Control

In hospitals around the country, most of the emphasis focus on the role of doctors and nurses, and rightfully so. However, there is a group of individuals that also performs an important function for the hospital behind the scenes: the infection control team. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, infection control prevents the spread of infections in healthcare settings. Professionals at health care facilities use guidelines and recommendations from the CDC to implement infection control practices for infection prevention among the patients.

In order to understand why infection control is important, it is critical to know what an infection is. An infection occurs when a microorganism, such as bacteria, fungi, or a virus, enters a person’s body and attempts to cause harm. In many cases, the immune system can stop these microorganisms from multiplying in the body. However, if the immune system is not up to the task, the microorganism can use the person’s own body to sustain itself, reproduce, and colonize. These infectious microscopic organisms are known as pathogens, and they can multiply quickly, and serious damage can result. Infections can either be internal or external, and can be unsightly and painful.

During the 2020 pandemic, the world became hyper-sensitive to infection control. All of a sudden basic tasks such as washing our hands became the most important thing we did. The use of hand sanitizer and wearing of masks were other common sites for the prevention of spreading the virus. After all, with no vaccine at the time, no one wanted to risk their health or lose their life.

Think about a wood splinter you have received in the past. You would have pulled the splinter out with tweezers, swabbed alcohol on the wound, and bandaged it up. In other words, you were practicing infection control. If you would have left it in, it would have gotten infected, swollen up, and become quite painful. It might have even led you going to the doctor, and having them prescribe antibiotics to eradicate the infection. By taking care of the situation right away and up front, you were able to prevent the infection before it occurred.

Now let’s take the splinter example, and provide a different setting. What if we took that splinter to the doctor before it got infected, and asked for them to pull it out? However, instead of pulling it out like we had previously done, they look at it and say, “It’s not that bad, don’t worry about it.” We would be a little bit puzzled. After all, the whole reason for going to the doctor was the prevention of the infection. So we again ask the doctor to remove the splinter. They look at it again and say, “It’s a part of you now, and that’s okay.” We would be getting annoyed now, because we really do not want to risk our health by getting an infection. So we ask one last time to have the doctor remove the splinter. This time they reply, “Unfortunately, you are just going to have to tolerate it and live with it.”

Let’s be clear and say that this scenario would never ever happen with a doctor, because of their obligation to protect our health. However, this scenario is exactly what is playing out with our culture right now. We have serious problems to deal with in our country. Crime and hopelessness are on the rise, corruption in the power and influence arenas are common practice, and both our physical and mental health have never been more fragile. These are the cultural infections of our time.

If we were to take the same approach as the first splinter example, we would be rushing to get those tweezers and practice infection control. Unfortunately, it is the second example that is more commonly seen in our culture today. At the end of 2021, when inflation started skyrocketing due to the unsustainable expansion of the money supply, the Federal Reserve noted, “Inflation is transitory [temporary].” In other words, “It’s not that bad, don’t worry about it, everything will go back to normal soon.” Six months later, the Federal Reserve was jacking up interest rates at a historic pace to desperately try to get inflation back under control. If we were to pick up a self-help book today, the common theme you would read about would be, “You are broken, and that is okay.” We would think that the reason for buying a book like this is so that we can eradicate our emotional infections and become better. But the message has been corrupted by the industry such that you become dependent on them, all in order to keep you buying more stuff from them. And as crime rises in this country, do we see our political leaders looking to eradicate the infection? Not really, but you do see them give speeches about understanding and tolerance, and declaring anyone against them as using shaming practices for political gain. So much for infection control.

Does the Bible indicate which approach we should take? Let’s examine Galatians 5:19-21 (CSB): “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things, as I warned you before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” It is obvious that God will not tolerate spiritual infections. So how do we deal with this? 1 John 1:8-9 (CSB) tells us: “If we say, ‘We have no sin,’ we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So getting those tweezers and practicing infection control from sin is the method God wants us to take in our lives. This is logical since the God-omitted culture we live in would take the other path. It should be noted that today’s church does not emphasize the verses above, but we will cover the reason for that in our next thought of the week.

For now, know that if we want to come closer to God, then we must actively practice infection control from sin. Ponder that this week.

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