What is most significant about silver's antibacterial properties (compared with every other antibacterial substance currently known to science) is that it it biologically impossible for bacteria to ever develop "resistance" to silver-based compounds.
Thus in addition to using silver alloys in all sorts of hospital tools and surfaces, in addition to using it in hospital clothing and gowns, and in addition to using it in hospital upholstery, a Scottish-based company is currently working with Scotland's medical authorities to perfect a silver-based nasal ointment and antiseptic body wash to use on people/patients to disinfect them before they are admitted to hospitals.
With this bacterial infection problem spreading globally on an exponential basis, silver-based applications to fight this problem must also increase at least as quickly.
In the world outside of our hospitals, we can expect the usage of silver as an anti-bacterial agent to amount to somewhere between ten times and 1,000 times the amount of silver used inside of hospitals. If silver is being widely used in hospitals then such usage must also spill over into all the world's doctor's offices and clinics -- both medical and dental.Once usage spreads in these areas, it is virtually certain that transportation companies would be next to follow suit. With public transportation (from buses to jets) one of the primary mechanisms for breeding and spreading dangerous diseases, it would be no surprise at all to see the vast majority of global transportation companies to begin to switch to silver-based upholstery for all their seating -- and very likely other antibacterial uses as well. At that point, it would be inevitable for antibacterial silver applications to show up in all public institutions. Following that, it would naturally spread to applications inside our homes. The more that the spread of these super bugs causes problems, deaths and fear, the faster these antibacterial silver applications will spread. Lack of space prevents me from getting into dozens of the other huge current uses for silver (for instance, one out of every seven pairs of glasses sold in the U.S. has a silver coating). Furthermore, as the price of gold rises, and gold jewelry becomes unaffordable for much of the world's population, silver jewelry will take its place.