Just a little rant from the Osborne Compound. There is an article in the local newpaper, which says that you shouldn't give children baby chicks or ducklings for Easter gifts because of the increased risk of Salmonella and that anyone who touches a chick or duckling should immediately wash his or her hands.
Normally I have a high opinion of our local paper, so this isn't a complaint against the Columbian at all. It is a complaint against the general dumbing down of our culture and a decrease in basic common sense.
First, of course you shouldn't give baby chicks or ducklings as Easter gifts for children. Most children and most households are not prepared to take care of Chickens and Ducks which is what chicks and ducklings turn into. On the other hand, getting a child an animal that the household is able to care for to teach the child responsibility may be a good thing. But only, if the adults are aware and able to handle the responsibility and if they believe the child is up to the lessons they will be learning. The majority of modern households are doing fine with kitties and doggies and can't handle poultry.
Second, somehow hundreds of generations of human beings have survived contact with small animals. My mother grew up in a house without plumbing. They used an outhouse until she was in her early teens. The human immune system is an amazing thing. I'm not a doctor, but I believe that the immune system works by being exposed in small doses to all sorts of nasty things throughout a single lifespan. Todays interest in disinfecting everything may not be in our own best interest.
And third, one of the many responsibilities parents have is to teach age-appropriate personal hygene. You teach your children to wash up after using the toilet, handling garbage and dirt, and handling animals. If you are not doing that already, please consider ceasing to have children.
Sorry, about this, but I feel better now.