Fear of Germs

Written by Andy

The germ theory of disease (according to Wiki) is the currently accepted scientific theory for many diseases. This ‘germ’ postulates that microorganisms known as pathogens or “germs” lead to disease. These small organisms, too small to see without magnification, invade humans, other animals, and other living hosts. Their growth and reproduction within their hosts is the cause of disease. “Germ” may refer to not just a bacterium but to any type of microorganism or even non-living pathogen that can cause disease. This includes: protists, fungi, viruses, prions, or viroids. Diseases caused by pathogens are called ‘infectious diseases’. Even when a pathogen is the principal cause of a disease, environmental and hereditary factors often influence the severity of the disease, and whether a potential host individual becomes infected when exposed to the pathogen: [Wiki]

George Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American stand-up comedian, actor, philosopher, author, and social critic. He was known for his black comedy and reflections on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and various taboo subjects. Widely regarded as one of the most important and influential American stand-up comics of all time. This audio clip comes from the George Carlin’s audiobook, “Napalm & Sillyputty” of 2002.

Fear of GERMS – George Carlin

Germophobia is also known as mysophobia, verminophobia, germaphobia, bacillophobia and bacteriophobia. It is a fear of contamination by germs. The term was coined by William A. Hammond in 1879 when describing a case of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) exhibited in people repeatedly washing their hands. [2]

People who suffer from germophobia usually display signs which include:[6]

  • Excessive hand washing.
  • An avoidance of locations that might contain a high presence of germs.
  • A fear of physical contact, especially with strangers.
  • Excessive effort dedicated to cleaning and sanitizing one’s environment.
  • A refusal to share personal items.
  • Excessive use of disinfectants and antibacterial soap.
  • Fear of physical contact with others.
  • Fear of getting sick.
  • Reacting with extreme fear to media reports of new diseases.
  • Fear of certain locations, such as doctor’s offices and airplanes, where germs or sick people might be present.

Germophobia greatly affects the everyday life of individuals and can range in severity of symptoms from difficult breathing, excessive perspiration, increased heart rate, and states of panic when exposed to germ-enhanced conditions.[7] [2]

In her book, The Gospel of Germs, historian of medicine Nancy Tomes described how public health campaigns in the early 20th century that encouraged people to think of invisible germs on surfaces and in the air. This instilled a fear of contagion. It encouraged germophobia. Thanks to these efforts, people saw danger lurking in household surfaces, dirt, and flies, as well as dust and saliva. People became fraught with a fear of contamination by some dreaded disease. 

We are reaching a point where the coronavirus public health measures is encouraging a sense of guardedness and suspicion, a feeling that everyone is a potential ‘bearer of disease’, even a sense of disgust at the diseased person. We are already returning to a wariness of surfaces, materials, air droplets, particles, people’s breath, and the personal space around a person. The government measures have created an intense fear of becoming ‘contaminated’ encouraging and forcing the populous to take extreme measures so to ensure that they remain “clean”. The government measures have created germophobia.

Interestingly, when President Barack Obama contended with the Ebola outbreak, Mr. Trump, then a private citizen, demanded measures which included the cancellation of air flights, forced quarantines, and the prevention of the return of American medical workers.

Being frightened is natural and is a natural system programed into our reptile brain to protect us from danger. These fears become phobias and will include include germ phobias, fear of large animals, and fear of heights. These phobias are treatable and often require little more than a few sessions with a mental health professional.

We have to realise that ‘germs are everywhere’. They existed when humans were created. They exist now and will exist in the future. We have a built in system to deal with them. It is called an immune system. Germs generally make us a little bit resilient and better able to fight off infection. As an example, I give you a blog comment:

Oh. I hate them germs. It just grosses me out to know they are everywhere. Yes. We are never free of them, but its always better to try and stay as far away as we can.

The professional reply:

If you would like to consult with a mental health professional to discuss this or any other concern, please feel free to return to our homepage:

‘AnxiousToddlers’ talks:

Helping Kids Who Have a Fear of Germs. Your child is paralyzed. She stares at the bathroom door unable to go through. She grabs the door handle with her shirt, fumbling to get it open. You’ve watched her wash her hands until they are raw. It seems like most questions that come out of her mouth are about germs.

We are talking about a very real problem. Here is George Carlin live with the above talk:
George Carlin – fear of germs.

9000 deaths from food poisoning.


I grew up in a rural area. The healthiest kids in school who pretty much NEVER got sick were the farm kids. Their immune systems could fight off just about anything.

Rachel Fife
The Coronavirus would not stand a chance against George Carlin!

The whole dang world has been brainwashed and shut down before our very eyes.
The human species is so gullible.

Edgar Allan Pwned
I’m happy to see the comment section is filled with people who see through all this BS Covid 19 hysteria

Lana Dobbins
I tell my kids all the time a little bit of dirt is good for the immune system, and too clean can be dangerous. I totally agree with this.

Bad Cattitude
There are more cells of bacteria in the average human body than human cells.
Happy nightmares, germaphobes.

Mike Fu
George is Scientifically Correct too. There are numerous tribes in the Amazon and in Alaska that have been completely Isolated from society for thousand of years…and some tribes are completely killed off once they DO come in contact with modern people, due to their immune systems being THOUSANDS of years behind. They will literally be killed by the common cold, and millions of bacteria that are typically Harmless to modern people. But usually their digestive system are MUCH stronger than ours, they can eat raw meat, plants, drink water Straight from the amazon…they are immune to dysentery or other bacteria that would usually KILL the fucking shit out of us….because their DNA is thousands of years behind ours…back when humans could consume raw diets, dirty water, etc.

Rex Thornhill
Actually, I agree with the testing of the immune system daily, and I’ve been to medical school.


‘Overcoming your Fear of Germs.’ Fear of Germs.

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