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Fist Bumps & the Zombie Apocalypse

Which is by far better a title than the dry "Reducing pathogen transmission in a hospital setting. Handshake verses fist bump: a pilot study."

Max Maxfield writes in his typically humorous style on the (for us) very serious topic of avoiding infection transmission while greeting others, based on a National Public Radio report which was itself based on the above study:


The abstract of the article that prompted the radio program and hence Max's musings can be found here:


In summary, compared with a handshake, other common forms of greeting reduce the spread of pathogens as follows:

* High Five - about 50% of the pathogens

* Fist Bump - about 5% of the pathogens

Sadly, no mention of the Elbow Bump, which I would think would be a clear winner.


Photo: A close up of Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) - Australia's Floral Emblem

13 Replies

aussieneil, this could and probabaly will be added to. It made me smile trying to think of a poem to reply with. bumpsiedaisy. sorry no brain to-day. Love reading all the posts. Sue


hands, knees and toes a daisy,

ears, nose, am i a little crazy,

certainly not i just want to be sure

all germs stay other side of door!



Hi Sue,

Full marks for being brave enough to share your poetry here and to no doubt raise some much needed smiles in our community. Given how many members are reluctant to reply, let alone with original poetry, there's absolutely no need to feel apologetic about putting to verse a ditty that reminds us of how bugs are transmitted from person to person. You've got me laughing thinking of how we'd go introducing the knee knock greeting :) Then there could be Toe Touches, Ear Rubs and so on. Seems all we need is a high profile sports person or actor to start of a new (and healthier) greeting craze supported by a catchy ditty!

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Gall bladders, who would have one

Wish I did'nt have mine

Surgeon said "we'll cut it out"

Anaesthetist said "eh! hang about"

White cells are to high to cut

She'll have to try and protect her gut

What does one do to try and feel better

Get it all written down just like a letter

Time will tell when gall bladder goes

Will let you know when and oh! no woes

Back to the white cells and all that that means

You all know the score we are acting the scene.

Hope you all like for its relevance and that its not too heavy.

Best Wishes to all


PS Is there a spell check on this system anywhere?


Sue, has your haematologist been consulted about the possibility of having a gall bladder operation? You might be given a course of prophylactic antibiotics to see you through the surgery.

This is the firs time I've seen gall bladder inspired poetry or was it the excess of white cells :) .

With respect to your question about spell checking, browsers sometimes have them built in, e.g. Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer 10, but you may need to download the relevant dictionary and enable it. That will spell check all text you enter in all websites (you see a wavy red line under any questionably spelt words in Firefox). Alternatively, you could compose your poetry and submissions in Microsoft Word and ensure that that has spell checking enabled. I don't know of any browser add-ons that check for rhyme or suggest likely rhyming words however :) .



Thanks so much for your reply Neil, I am taking steriods to build me up now and liquid antibiotic to try and prevent thrush. When they deem me fit enough they will operate. At least the 2 teams are now talking together. It was certainly inspired by too many white cells!!!! That treatment comes after. Do you have to download the smilies as well?




Sue, Good to hear that you have your two medical teams communicating - that's sadly not always that easy to achieve.

With regard to smileys (the correct terminology is emoticons), many sites like this one just reinterpret text equivalents into the smiley icons. Here's some basics with a dash "-" between the characters so you can see what you need to pair for different smileys (smile, wink and sad face):

:) ;) :(

: ) - ; ) - : (

Here's a pretty exhaustive reference:


I've checked out which work here, and below is the complete list with the text shortcuts.


Icon, Text equivalent, Meaning

:) : ) Smiley or happy face

:D : D Laughing, big grin, laugh with glasses

:( : ( Frown, sad

:'( : ' ( Crying

:o : o Surprise, shock

;) ; ) Wink, smirk

:P : P Tongue sticking out, cheeky/playful, blowing a raspberry

:-/ : - / Skeptical, annoyed, undecided, uneasy, hesitant

:| : |Straight face, no expression, indecision

:X : X Sealed lips or wearing braces

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Plenty of icons listed there Neil ... but for instant conveying of a message, none come close to the Oww! badge ....

However, if you could supply the keys needed to convert the Oww! badge into an icon, I would be interested ... but remember, it is under license ...


:o Ygtgo you'll have to take that up with the developers and negotiate your royalties; I'm only reporting what's supported and that's by trial and error :x


:) Thanks Neil for taking the time to help me.



Thanks Sue... I like it.. Keep the ditties coming...



Loved your ditty, Sue, it was so nice to have a smile, as the posts, for genuine reasons, have all been a bit dour recently. (I prefer the bumpsadaisy one - with the emphasis on the first three letters!).

Please write some more!


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Thanks everyone, will try harder on next ditty, sometimes words come and sometimes not.



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