When you’re born (typically) your body inherits the microbiome of the mother. This only happens through natural birth. C-Sections prevent the baby from bathing in critical bacteria to culture it’s own microbiome for immune and digestion etc.
Viral infections are not passed to the baby. Viruses (99% of the time) do not pass the placenta barrier, and infect the baby.
So we know that most bacteria, good or bad, if untreated, is passed onto the babies. Fungus too.
So what’s interesting is that viruses do not pass onto child via birth. They can be transmitted in other ways, but the baby is virus free typically.
What’s fascinating is the babies are born “pure”.
As we go throughout life, we accumulate viruses.
They never leave us. They just exist in a dormant state. They also have the ability to change our DNA forever, or at least parts of our DNA through Viral transformation.
So we are born pure, then we accumulate all these bugs throughout our life. Some are treatable and can be eradicated (like bacteria), some are kinda treatable and kinda eradicated (fungus), and others are kinda treatable and never eradicated (virus).
As we age, we accumulate these bits of parasitic material.
Some we pass on, others we don’t (or at least not at first).
As you age and contract these parasitic bits, they change you.
It’s a weird thought.
We are never as pure as the day we are born.
Makes me think of the importance of hygiene and cleanliness— “Cleanliness is next to godliness”— and what hygiene and cleanliness says about a lifestyle, or even a culture.
How battling disease is so disruptive to everyday functioning, to economy.
And how the discipline of being hygienic and clean, though time consuming in the daily rituals, creates a net increase in free time not coping with disease.