If we could see the sheer number of bacteria on every surface we touch throughout our day, we all would probably be more like Howie Mandel! As society has advanced, so many things that were once impossible are now part of everyday life. With that has come a cleaner society.
Humans, in general, are cleaner today than they have ever been. The downside to this is that in many cases, we lack exposure to strains of bacteria that those in our past encountered daily, making us less capable of dealing with them. The advancement of medicine has led to many viruses and bacteria becoming resistant to traditional medication. And this is during normal times.
In a grid down situation after a natural disaster or other calamity, things will be far more dire. Without access to freshwater, soap, trash pick-up, and EMS, we will be exposed to even higher levels of potentially dangerous bacteria.
Pests of all variety will quickly become disease vectors. Flies landing on bodies, feces not correctly disposed of, garbage heaps, and even other sick people can easily transmit disease. Rats, feral cats, and dogs will add to this situation. When people can’t feed themselves, they often turn their pets out to the streets where they’re forced to fend for themselves. Fleas and ticks will spread from these former pets to people, and these parasites can easily transmit bacteria to humans.
Rodents also carry several bacteria that are very harmful to humans, with the hantavirus being one of the most common and deadly. In a crisis-situation, the danger will lurk around every corner, in every nook, crack, and crevice. We will be at war with germs, and the enemy never sleeps. Diligence, cleaning supplies, and proper sanitation will make the difference.