Gesundheit: That Sneeze May Be A Cold Coming On
Sneezing, everyone does it.
Some people make a thundering noise that can be heard down the block; others make a faint sound that isn’t much louder than a church mouse, something Jesse from South Surrey thinks is particularly important when indoors.
“…sometimes its best to keep a sneeze as discrete as possible by half holding it in, like in a buffet line up, mall or wherever you may be.”
Some people sneeze once, while others can have a chain of five sneezes in a row.
Whatever your sneezing tendencies are, one fact rings true for everyone: when you sneeze, you are projecting your germs into the world.
It seems today that not only do many people forget to cover their mouths and noses properly to stop their projectiles from reaching other people but those who are around a person who sneezes choose to no longer say, “God bless you” or “gesundheit.”
Obviously, these phrases no longer hold the same meaning as they used to centuries ago, but saying either one has long been considered the polite thing to do.
Surely when you sneeze you are no longer transmitting the black plague, and it is also no longer widely believed that one’s soul is escaping you when you sneeze, but that does not mean the germs aren’t harmful and that what comes out of your nose can’t effect others.
According to Dr. Shirley A. Schwab M.D. of Yaletown Medical Clinic, one of the few Dr.’s who chose to comment for this story, “At this time of year, people primarily sneeze because of having a cold.”
She went on to give a description of what exactly is happening when a sneeze occurs. “It’s like having a windstorm come through your mouth and nose. When you sneeze, there’s a gush of wind that carries droplets of liquid full of germs that are spread around into the air.”
She finished by saying “When you sneeze, you push out those droplets that are very contagious.”
Watch MythBusters break down sneezing even more:
So please, make sure to cover your mouths and noses. Nobody likes to be sneezed on.
When I asked Colin from downtown Surrey, he took a strong stance on people who neglect to take the measures to avoiding spreading these germs. “People who cough or sneeze with no regard for others should be culled from the earth.” He said.
He went on to tell me, “There are few worse things that can happen than being sneezed on.” This is a sentiment that is echoed by many people who have unfortunately been through that horrifyingly unpleasant scenario.
Lastly, in what has been one of the coldest winters in Metro Vancouver over that last quarter century, it’s noticeable that people are sneezing more frequently, and are becoming sicker for longer.
Dr. Schwab backed up this claim by saying, “I have seen a ton of people who have had a sickness for not just a few days like usual but weeks. It seems to be that [colds] are of longer durations this year.”
Since sneezing is a symptom of an illness, what should you do when you begin to sneeze more frequently and are coming down with a cold? Dr. Schwab has some tips.
“First of all, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Be careful how you’re touching things be it doorknobs, clothes, etc. and eat properly and drink lots of fluids. If you are unfortunate enough to have a cold, you would want to cover your mouth and nose because then you would not be spreading those droplets of contagious liquid that get caught up in that windstorm.”
So, for all of you sneezers out there, please follow Dr. Schwab’s tips and help prevent others from getting what you may have.
Gesundheit and God bless you in advance, just cover your mouth and nose before you go and spread your viral, contagious germs to your friends, family, and strangers on the street.