Five-Second Rule Doesn’t Work for Germs, Doesn’t Work for Sin
I remember my glee when I first learned of the five-second rule. You know. The rule that says if you drop a piece of candy or other food on the ground, as long as you pick it up in 5 seconds, it’s all good. The theory is that the germs haven’t had a chance to “stick” yet to the item, so you can happily plop it in your mouth.
I don’t know who actually believes that rule. I think that anyone who has practiced that rule, just blocks out any thoughts of germ contamination and wish for the best.
A recent article in ScienceDaily Magazine quotes a Medical Director as saying:
“A dropped item is immediately contaminated and can’t really be sanitized,” says Jorge Parada, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA, medical director of the infection prevention and control program at Loyola University Health System. “When it comes to folklore, the ‘five-second rule’ should be replaced with ‘when in doubt, throw it out’.”
All items that come into contact with a surface pick up bacteria (and dirt!). How much bacteria and what kind of microbes depends on the object dropped and the surface it is dropped upon, he says.
Most of us have already probably figured this out on our own without having to read about it from experts.
But how many of us have thought about how the five-second rule applies to our near occasions of sin?
Have you ever been in a situation where your spiritual life is doing pretty well (or so your pride tells you), and you consider yourself strong enough to dabble in a little sin? Maybe you feel strong enough to watch that movie that you know has really sexually explicit scenes, but you figure you can handle it? So what if you get a little bit aroused? You’ll be back saying your Rosary in no time.
So you watch the movie and before you know it, you’re watching another one that is even more explicit.
Then you find yourself having impure thoughts, which then become impure actions.
It all started with dipping your foot in sin for just 5seconds. Those 5 seconds were enough to contaminate you.
How much the sin clings to someone depends on the person. For some it takes 1 occurrence before they end up reverting to multiple sins. For some it takes longer.
“If you rinse off a dropped hot dog you will will probably greatly reduce the amount of contamination, but there will still be some amount of unwanted and potentially nonbeneficial bacteria on that hot dog,” said Parada, who admits to employing the five-second rule on occasion. “Maybe the dropped item only picks up 1,000 bacteria, but typically the innoculum, or amount of bacteria that is needed for most people to actually get infected, is 10,000 bacteria — well, then the odds are that no harm will occur. But what if you have a more sensitive system, or you pick up a bacteria with a lower infectious dose? Then, you are rolling the dice with your health or that of your loved one.”Read More...
So if you are prone to sin, you will be more sensitive to the sinful action, but no matter what your threshold, make no mistake. Those five seconds is all it takes to get contaminated.
So next time you drop that hot dog, don’t wipe it off and eat it. Chuck it!