It's taboo in many cultures to wear one's shoes inside the house because of all the bacteria and viruses that are on the shoes. Then there is the shoes-on group that basically acknowledges that germs are all over your shoes, but also exist on your skin, on your clothes and cell phone – everyplace. So to them, just taking off your shoes is half-baked.

Some of you reading this will insist on shoes off because research shows that germs on shoes can be a real health hazard. One study found E. coli, a source of urinary tract infections and diarrhea; pneumonia-causing Klebsiella bacteria; Serratia ficaria, which causes respiratory infections; and meningitis-causing bacteria.

The shoes-off argument is a no-brainer, but I was brought up not removing my shoes in the house. I'll be honest, since I wasn't raised to remove my shoes except for muddy or snow-filled ones, I don't even think about it. Recently in Florida, while visiting our relatives, we were asked to remove our shoes at the door sock basket. I didn't mind at all. I respect their wishes. Maybe it's my laissez-faire approach that I've carried into adulthood?

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and being confined at home, I've noticed more and more articles about tracking viruses and germs into the home by not removing one's shoes. But taking everything I read into account, germs are here, there and everywhere, all around, inside and out, in every nook and cranny near and far. So I guess I have a foot in both camps.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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