I honestly thought this was an April Fool's joke, because seldom have I seen an idea as utterly asinine as the MetroMitt, one of those products you never realized you needed until you read how dangerous life can be without it.
According to MetroMitt.com, manhandling a New York subway pole is likely to invade your delicate system with countless deadly diseases, including: * Hepatitis A: causes jaundice and diarrhea * Staphylococcus: zits and boils * Pseudomonas: infects wounds * Streptococci: sore throats * Shigella: more diarrhea.
How's this for a panic attack? The webbie states, "Human hands are among the most common ways for bacteria and viruses to be spread. With over 5 million people riding the New York City subway system on an average weekday, bacteria and viruses can be transferred by holding poles, touching seats and grabbing doors. MetroMitt is a free, disposable hand mitt benefiting riders conscious about personal hygiene."
Further grossout statistics: a typical human hand carries about 150 bacterial species, bacteria reproduces every 20 minutes even after using hand sanitizer, and according to the NYC Subway Shmutz '09 survey, 50% of subway cars across all lines are considered dirty.
Surprise: You can purchase ads to stamp on MetroMitts. Now I believe I see the real dirt here. It's called opportunistic fear.