Germaphobes Anonymous

Germaphobia is no laughing matter. A real germaphobe suffers from an obsessive compulsive disorder, extreme anxiety, and fear of germs. They may be reluctant to leave their homes. They will avoid human contact and imagine germs on every door knob, flat surface, or ping pong ball. Some have gone as far as wearing masks, refusing handshakes, and becoming celibate. It’s not funny. What would be funny, if it weren’t so sad, is that this mental illness has become a way of life. I am aware that we have been experiencing a worldwide pandemic. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I’ve been semi isolated from table tennis for a year. It wasn’t because of germaphobia. I didn’t want to go anywhere that mandated mask wearing. Perhaps I have masklophobia. Perhaps, but I knew this day would eventually come. The germaphobes are taking over; and it’s time to take a stand.  

It’s possible that masks have saved lives. I doubt that sanitizing ping pong balls did much; but a year ago we wouldn’t have known that. It was probably a bad idea to shut down facilities where people could exercise and boost their immune systems. The jury is still out on exactly what helped and what didn’t. But, we have reached the point where the precautions are worse than the disease. 

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The gym where I play requires masks. Actually, they say they do -They don’t. I go through the ritual of wearing a mask in the lobby, only to remove it in the gym. We seem to have entered a phase where people are looking for permission to live normally. I don’t think permission is coming anytime soon. I’ve taken to ignoring the mask request at the grocery store. Given that I have had both of my vaccines and am not feeling sick, I don’t see any reason to continue this charade. You could make the case that it would be polite to consider the feelings of the germaphobes; but shouldn’t they at some point consider the feelings of the sufferers of masklophobia. Masklophobia – Wikipedia .

If you are dealing with germaphobes at your table tennis club, keep in mind that they very likely weren’t germaphobes a year ago. They might be having a hard time letting go of the trauma of 2020. If you think that it’s time to take a stand against worldwide germaphobia, it starts with you. Live healthy. Enjoy table tennis. Breathe easy …..

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