Francie reads in the newspaper about Dr. Joseph Lister who was the head of surgery in London at that time. He was also in charge of hospitals there. He thanked Dr. Louis Pasteur for his studies concerning germs. Because of Dr. Pasteur’s research about bacteria, Dr. Lister now instructs surgeons in the hospitals in England to wash their hands thoroughly before and after touching patients. Wounds and doctors’ instruments are also cleaned thoroughly. Many more individuals survive surgery because of this.
In English hospitals before Pasteur’s study, they didn’t even have sinks for the medical staff to wash. They thought just airing our the hospital once a day was enough to kill germs. The doctors in France would not listen to Dr. Pasteur and his advice because he was not a physician. Not until Dr. Lister saved a lot of lives through antiseptic surgery in England, did they start hearing Dr. Pasteur’s message in France.
When Francie goes to Mrs. Ryan’s house to help her, she discovers little Danny is so sick. She fetches the doctor and then decides she should heed Dr. Pasteur’s advice and clean house so no one else in their family will become ill.
Since Covid-19, our society has a new awareness about cleanliness. Stores and restaurants need to maintain certain standards and personal hygiene is so important especially hand washing.