Dr Semmelweis

Brig, Soren and Reidar- did you know that “hand-washing” was invented??

During coronavirus times and all the new rules about, it seems more like hand-washing is an ancient idea. But Dr. Semmelweis story is apocryphal.

It is truly incredible. He was a practicing obstetrician and learned by collecting data from hospitals that mother death’s in childbirth could be lowered by over 90% if the doctors washed their hands. Pretty simple technique huh? Today, in 2020 we call hand-washing a non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPIs) .

Subsequent to Dr. Semmelweis data and analysis – you would expect other doctors to immediately jump on board – wash hands and save lives…

But just the opposite happened. Dr. Semmelweis was demonized, stripped of his medical license, declared insane, and ultimately tortured to death by policemen and guards. Yes.. that right, he was killed for publishing data.


Nah, impossible you think? That is a conspiracy. How is that possible? Why didn’t the other doctors wash hands and save lives… What gives?

Shame. That is what gives. The ego of the other doctors and shame got in the way. The other doctors could not face the idea that their carelessness with hygiene had already caused deaths. They could not admit they were wrong, and killing people, so instead of admitting guilt and changing course (handwashing), they chose to NOT wash their hands and needlessly kill more mothers. That is the psychology of most human minds. They would rather kill, bury their head in the sand, than they would admit a weakness or guilt. Watch China’s actions regarding coronavirus- they refuse all investigations into the origin.

Be Brave my boys. Admit when you are wrong. A strong man is one who has the courage to change course. It saves lives, and particularly given your family situation, it might just save your own life. Be brave, not cowardly. Cowards kill.

And wash your hands !

Love Papa