Ann Arbor, MI – After being publicly indicted for the third fatal illness in less than two months, the infamous “flesh-eating bacteria” remain beleaguered but hopeful. Despite suffocating publicity and deafening cries for their eradication, our single-chromosomed brethren uncompromisingly persist in an effort to be a part of our world. Refusing to change who they are or what they stand for, these bacteria want to reach across the chasm of hate between prokaryote and eukaryote in order to promote mutual understanding.
What do “flesh-eating bacteria” wish you knew about them? According to their self-styled Wikipedia page, the label “flesh-eating bacteria” is a misnomer – one falsely applied to them by a sensationalist media as part of an intense slander campaign. Per the article, these bacteria do not “eat” flesh; they simply wish to be allowed to grow and to release their toxins in a harmonious coexistence with the human host. Unfortunately, due to ignorance, intolerance, and hostility on the part of most humans, their presence is greeted by a battery of hateful cytokines. It is these odious inflammatory chemicals from resistant hosts, the bacteria argue, that cause the severe illness splashed across television and the internet.
The thick-walled organisms also take umbrage at the way they’re lumped together in the news. They feel the offensive classification of a diverse group of bacteria as one entity is hurtful and disrespectful. B. fragilis, S. aureus, C. perfrigens are all unique individuals, seeking their own distinct identity in this antagonistic, antibiotic-laden world.
A recent explosion of media coverage has highlighted attacks on well-liked, beautiful people, but Necrotizing Fasciitis (“NF” – the moniker preferred by most “flesh-eating” bacteria) wants to highlight the fact that it does not discriminate in its selection of suitable hosts. The NF Wikipedia page emphasizes their welcoming and tolerant values with a long list of notable people who also have been chosen for infection. NF argues that the term “victims” has been overused by biased journalists to describe those infected. Instead, they like the term “eco-partners.”
A new campaign, called “Welcome us into your Wound and your World” seeks to build understanding and strengthen relationships, but has already been met with outrage. For now, the quiet and persevering “flesh-eating bacteria” will continue to look forward to a day when the hate will at last be replaced by love…a day when they will not simply be another life-threatening nuisance to be obliterated by a surgeon’s scalpel. For those down-trodden single-celled organisms who have watched their offspring die in a blaze of antibiotic and surgical genocide, that day can’t come too soon.
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