posted 11-12-2002 05:18 PM PT (US)
Note: I like this rant - but, one should bear in mind that a "rant" is kind of a thing where you leave a bit of rationality behind and just argue one side of an equation with a bit more force than it probably deserves, and giving the other side a bit less credit than it probably deserves. So, up, without further ado...(and, yes, I intend to not have children :-P)
Originally posted by LadyPeterbilt
I think anyone with a cold, who goes out in public, when they don't HAVE to, and is contagious, is an *ss.
[I'm going to argue both ends of this equation. "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself - I am vast, I contain multitudes." --Walt Whitman]
I don't agree with what I think is probably the underlying presumption behind this sentiment: that we catch colds from other people. The idea being, you get around someone who has a cold, then you catch it from that person - so, those people should stay home where they won't spread the disease.
As binks thrall would probably put it: Hogwash.
You catch a cold when the strength of your immune system drops to the point that the cold virii and/or bacteria can start winning battles in your body. If you catch a cold, it's your fault, and not anyone else's. No, not even that person who sneezed all over you for three hours on that plane trip back from wherever you've been.
"Hey, but even if you're right, Ouro, you STILL wouldn't have caught the cold or flu if you hadn't been exposed to an infected person!!!"
Wrong. Those virii and bacteria are all around you (and inside of you!) all of the time - summer, winter, spring, and fall, inside your home and outside of your home.
Have you ever noticed how you are more likely to get a cold during the change of the seasons - particularly from summer to winter? Changes in seasons are very hard on an immune system. The change to winter tends to result in waking up in the middle of the night feeling chilly for a few nights until you get your heating back into the flow. The air tends to dry out, leaving you dehydrated. The sun is up for less time, causing the melatonin and serotonin releases in your body to adjust to have you getting sleepy before the clock says to go to bed, and not yet feeling nearly so awake when the clock tells you that it's time to get up (and you tend to let the clock dictate your time) - resulting in your body not getting the rest that it needs to keep a strong immune system.
I generally tend to live a very, very healthy lifestyle, and I am one of those people who tends to say, "I never get sick." However, in the last 2-3 years, I've been rather abusive to my body, in terms of 1) eating crap, 2) being a vegetable, and 3) staying up all hours of the night and not keeping a regular sleeping schedule. The result? My hairline receeded, my beard suddenly developed large patches of gray, and I think I had 5 colds over the last 2 years (whereas I normally go 5 years plus w/out a sniffle; oh, and my hairline has stopped receeding - it's not moved for more than 8 months - when I changed my health habits).
People with colds and the influenza virii? You don't scare me.
All that having been said, I do tend to be a bit of a "germaphobe". I can't stand that ugly habit of "shaking hands" - and I'm likely to never be the person to extend my hand first, hoping that the other person won't either, for example. And I don't wear shoes in the house (have YOU ever seen what's underneath a urinal? If you have men in your house who wear shoes, that's all over your carpet and floors - yuck). In public restrooms, I'll wash my hands, then I'll hold the handle on the sink with a paper towel when I shut it off, and then again use the paper towel as a barrier between my fingers and the door handle when I exit. I am very conscious of what the last thing was that my hands have touched - and if it was a doorknob or someone else's hand, or a steering wheel, I'm conscious of making sure that I wash my hands before I'll touch my face again (many people speculate that you'd never catch a cold if you didn't ever touch your face with your hands).
And, if you ask me, people with kids are the ones who should stay home. Never in your whole life will you ever find anything as gross and disgusting as a child. They pick their noses, they suck on their fingers, they'll stick their fingers right up their assh*les if the damned things itch. Then they'll reach over to a plate of cookies, pick one cookie up, then put it back down 'cause they decided that they want another...I've seen them on fucking salad bars in restaurants actually eat off of the serving utensil and put it back in the crock. People with babies will pick the things up and sit their stinky diapered asterisks up on counters, tables, all sorts of places that would be better off kept in a sanitary manner. They'll piss their pants, they'll shit until their diaper explodes, they'll hurl vomit with no warning.
And someone's worried about a person with a cold out in public?!
Show me a house where a child lives and I'll show you a bacteria invested germ breeding ground which should be declared a US EPA Superfund Site and declared off limits to all humans until disinfected.
So, if you get sick, blame yourself for not keeping a strong immune system. But, also realize that the first line of defense of your immune system is to avoid the germs in the first place. Avoid children at all costs ;-), and then avoid soup that anyone's sneezed into - the fewer battles your body has to fight, the less likely it is to lose one. But being around a reasonably hygenic adult - or even ten reasonably hygenic adults - who have colds probably isn't going to affect you much if you're consciencious about exercise, diet, sleep, and other germ related situations.
So THERE. :-P