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After COVID19, can we learn to live with germs again?

Opinion | After #COVID19, can we learn to live with germs again?

The health of our bodies & microbiomes may depend on society’s return to lifestyles that expose us to bacteria, despite the risks.

Some health experts are watching the ongoing attempts to sanitize our environment against the #coronavirus with a mounting sense of dread. They fear that many of the measures we’ve employed to stop the virus, even some that are helpful and necessary, may pose a threat to human health in the long run if they continue.

Their worries center on the human microbiome — the trillions of bacteria that live on and inside our bodies. They say that excessive hygiene practices, inappropriate antibiotic use and lifestyle changes such as distancing may weaken those communities going forward in ways that promote sickness and imperil our immune systems. By sterilizing our bodies and spaces, they argue, we may be doing more harm than good.

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