On Friday’s episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO, host Maher used his “New Rule” segment to talk about the dangers of overreacting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“New rule: the next time we have a worldwide pandemic, we have to come up with a better solution than everyone becomes Howie Mandel,” Maher stated.
The host then spoke about how everyone loves comedian Howie Mandel, but that his obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is “a disease” that has brought great pain to the comedian over the course of his life.
“He can’t touch a doorknob or wear shoes with laces [because] they might touch the ground,” Maher noted before quoting Mandel himself.
In two separate quotes, Mandel said: “It was always a curse. That behavior didn’t allow me to date or go out with anybody when I was young or really even have friends … I’m always on the verge of death in my head.”
The host continued:
I worry that the past two months of quarantine have given people the idea that the way for humans to win our million-year war with microbes is to avoid them completely, and I’m here to tell you, you can’t. The key to beating COVID isn’t dining through glass or never going to a concert or a ballgame again – it’s your immune system.
Maher stated that people talk about COVID-19 being a “new virus,” which is why our immune systems don’t “know how to handle it.”
“Bull****! Of course it does. That’s why the vast majority of people who have had it either recovered or didn’t even know they had it,” Maher stated. “What do you think did that? The human immune system.”
Maher made sure to explain that those whose immune systems can’t handle the virus should obviously be protected, but added that we cannot become an OCD society:
There are people with immune systems that can’t do the job, and we should make it a priority to protect those people, but compulsively washing, being scared of your own hands, that can’t become the new normal.
Maher added that “we pitied” Howard Hughes when he went over the edge and began “wearing Kleenex boxes for shoes.”
“There’s a hot new item for sale online, disinfecting shoe mats, cause COVID can get on your feet. Yes, it can get everywhere! Microbes are ubiquitous! You can keep discovering new places to scare people into buying protection for, but we’re solving the problem from the wrong end,” Maher continued.
The host said that “keeping our bodies in good health” is the “only way we are going to win this.”
“We can’t sanitize the universe,” he added.
“We’ve all read the articles – your sink has 500,000 bacteria per square inch, your toothbrush has feces on it, E.coli has been found in makeup. Carpets, bedding, the remote, cutting boards – the average pillow has 350,000 bacteria colonies … your phone has ten times the bacteria of your toilet, which your dog drinks out of and then licks you,” the host said.
Maher then talked about his dogs, who lie in the driveway “where cars with God-knows-what on their tires pull in.”
My point is, God-knows-what is all over your pets and in their mouth and then you invite them on the bed, and they try to french kiss you and sometimes succeed – and some people don’t even fight it – but what’s the point of a pet if you’re not going to pet it? It’s in the name.
“And what’s the point of life if you can’t live it?” he added.
After a crude joke about the filthiness of many hotels and how your immune system has your back, Maher concluded:
So this weekend, do something nice for your immune system. Go outside, that mysterious land beyond your curtains where the GrubHub drivers live, and get some fresh air and vitamin D and break a sweat doing something besides eating hot chicken because at the end of the day, you can’t keep all the pathogens out.
[WARNING: Strong Language]
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