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OPINION | MASTERSON ONLINE: Sheet cheats

by Mike Masterson | November 23, 2021 at 5:12 a.m.

Not that it's any of my beeswax, but how often do you change your bedsheets? From advice I've read, probably not enough.

A survey of 1,000 people found people routinely change sheets on average of every 24 to 37 days, depending on marital status.

Married folks reportedly change theirs an average of every 20 days, which is closer to where our house falls in what I'm calling the Great American Bedsheet Exposé.

Although this subject might sound trivial to you, the impact of allowing sheets to go unwashed for weeks or longer at a time can often have significant physical consequences, according to syndicated mass media physicians Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen.

Some 20 million among us have dust mite allergies (nothing to sneeze at, couldn't resist), which can cause watery red eyes, runny noses and respiratory ailments.

Ailments from unclean sheets can become even more serious if they're allowed to continue. The so-called "allergies" to these microscopic mites crawling in our sheets make make heart disease, cancer and dementia more likely due to the inflammation caused.

And many of us don't realize mites thrive on the many millions of skin cells we shed each night as we sleep. At only 1/100th of an inch long, their teensy droppings are known to trigger significant respiratory symptoms.

And that doesn't include the hair, dander, or possible infections and infestations from our pets, something Jeanetta and I never consider when it comes to Benji the pound pup. Switching sheets at least once a week, especially if you are anything like 78 percent of pet owners who, like us, allow their fur child to sleep with them, can help reduce allergies and "itchy, red skin patches."

If all that isn't sufficient to make you grab for the Tide, bacteria can multiply on sheets and pillow cases if you happen to drool or sweat, along with mattress pads and blankets.

Considering we spend a third of our lives in bed, it's only wise to take this to heart and learn from it. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to move the sheets into that darn noisy dryer.

Verdict: Media shame

The Rittenhouse jury, after three days of deliberating the actual "facts" of the Kyle Rittenhouse case in Kenosha, Wis., determined the 18-year-old was not guilty after he shot three men in self-defense, killing two, as they joined rioters, looters and arsonists ransacking that town in August 2020, under the preposterous guise of peaceful "protesting."

The jury's findings revealed perhaps the lowest point in credibility in journalism history based on the falsehoods they reported, as well as in social media. It certainly represents that for me after 50 years of practice.

From days after the incident, uninformed media mouthpieces for corporate employers were spewing wholly false information that characterized the young man as a "white supremacist, vigilante and racist" run amok with his AR-15. Nonsense.

Even Joe Biden felt he had to weigh in after the shootings to imply Rittenhouse was a white supremacist. In light of the outcome, I'd say it's time for ol' Joe to apologize.

This case certainly created a real field day for at least a dozen know-nothing pretend journalists as they continually slandered Rittenhouse with lies and few facts.

I hold that group indefensibly responsible for influencing this case that should never have been brought by a clearly incompetent prosecutor whose performance in the courtroom was beyond reprehensible.

Thankfully, the teenager wound up with a neutral jury who, after deliberating the actual facts of that violent night in Kenosha (rather than partisan hearsay and lies), voted the young man "not guilty" on all five counts. Facts thankfully mattered to these folks.

It's disgraceful there are those in the national media and on TV talk shows who instantly leaped to false conclusions. They repeatedly and ignorantly labeled the soft-spoken former police and fire cadet Rittenhouse a white supremacist and racist without evidence and despite the fact everyone involved was white.

They repeated the lies without regard for the poisonous smears they were irresponsibly piling on Rittenhouse. In many ways their agenda-laden onslaught was akin to that suffered by young Nick Sandmann, whose reputation also was nationally savaged a couple of years back by reporter wannabes in the same mainstream media, which triggered a multimillion-dollar defamation suit settled in his favor.

I'm hoping Rittenhouse follows Sandmann's lead in holding accountable those who so eagerly demonized him.

The jury of seven women and five men clearly took their solemn responsibility seriously. As a result, the young man who says he's attending Arizona State University online is free today to pursue his life and dreams, rather than suffering through a lifetime behind bars.


Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist, was editor of three Arkansas dailies and headed the master's journalism program at Ohio State University. Email him at mmasterson@arkansasonline.com.


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