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Thursday, February 21, 2013

More Thoughts on the Cold Theme

You have about the same odds of avoiding your spouse's cold
as getting into bed with a walrus and not getting moist
Everyone blames the rhinovirus but really the problem with colds is the human body.  All the symptoms you can name - sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, fatigue - are not the virus itself but the body's attempt to fight the virus off.  Lewis Thomas once wrote that the body's reaction to the rhinovirus is the equivalent of dropping nuclear bombs to deal with a burglary.  What makes it even worse is that so much of this - the sneezing and coughing - is precisely what makes you so contagious.  So basically, when the rhinovirus enters your body, it tricks you into producing a bunch of annoying symptoms, which in turn help spread the virus.  For something only 30 nanometers in diameter, the rhinovirus is pretty sneaky.

There are about a hundred different types of rhinovirus out there, but the only one you need to worry about is the one your wife or husband has, because that's the one you're going to get.  Of course, all the usual precautions should be taken - wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you cough, etc, etc, but when you live with someone, it's dollars to donuts, if they catch something, you will too.  You have about the same odds of avoiding your spouse's cold as getting in bed next to a walrus without getting moist.

This is why you have to especially nice to your mate when they develop a cold; before you know it, it's going to be your turn.  And it doesn't do any good blaming them when you get the cold because sooner or later, you're likely to give the cold right back.  I suggest when someone gets a cold, he should be given plenty of ice cream (Butter Pecan) back rubs, and be allowed to watch whatever he wants on tv.  That way, when you get the cold, it'll be your turn.

The only problem is that if the recuperation period is too pleasant, the patient might draw it out.

"How is it you still have that winter cold?  It's August."

This, however, is a risk we must take.

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