Are you a writer looking for some interesting personality traits and quirks to create characters? Or maybe you’re a logophile, someone who loves words, and wants to collect more of them. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Reminder: gender neutral pronouns used.
Bacilophobia is a fear of microbes. It is also known as mysophobia, verminophobia, germaphobia, and bacteriophobia.
Monk, the TV detective. Howard Hughes. Sherlock Holmes (maybe). Donald Trump (purportedly). The person who avoids shaking hands. One who carries disinfectant wipes to decontaminate surfaces. A person who avoids crowded settings.
Etymologically, any word with phobia in it is derived from the Greek φόβος (phobos), "fear". Bacilo is from the Latin baculus meaning “stick.” Bacili are disease-causing bacteria.
In a mild form, we see someone who is always cleaning up after shimself and others. In a more pathological sense, a bacilophobe would find the condition interfering with having a normal life.
Your bacilophobic character:
You can play this character for laughs (like Monk) by showing how the obsession with germs looks to the people heesh encounters. Your character wipes doorknobs before entering, uses a wipe on shis hands after shaking hands, and other behaviors that are done matter-of-factly, seemingly unaware that non-bacilophobic people don’t do them.
Perhaps your MC has a parent in a care facility who won’t eat in the communal dining hall because of extreme bacilophobia. The parent might not allow anyone into shis room to clean it or to check on welfare. Isolation is the preference, with the only food allowed being brought by the MC from certain cafeteria-style restaurants (where all the food is on display). Because the parent won’t allow anyone to check, the parent lies dead on the floor for several days before being found by the MC upon returning from a trip. Guilt ensues.
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