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Covert

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Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season...

by Covert » Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:57 pm

The NYT today had an article about cold germs and how they can hang around in a hotel room from the people who occupied the room the previous night. Matt Lauer talks about going around and spraying everything with Lysol.

I’ve made this pitch before, prior to cold season, as a public service to this group, because it seems as if it should be most important to this group. With a cold, it is very difficult to enjoy fine wine. And life is too short to go a week without such enjoyment.

Colds are totally unnecessary if a bloke employs self discipline. It doesn’t matter how much sn-t he gets on his hands, if he simply doesn’t touch his nose or eyes before washing his hands. Skin is impervious to cold viruses. Some people will argue that a direct hit with a sneeze will cool you, and it probably can. But I never got a cold from a sneeze or coughing, even with people sneezing and coughing from colds in the next seat on planes. And I travel constantly.

I messed up in 2003, but went three years prior to that and three years since with no colds. I just keep my fingers out of my eyes and nose, without washing first.

I don’t worry about my mouth at all, when it comes to catching a cold, and will occasionally eat a sandwich after shaking hands with someone with a cold. I maybe should be concerned about hepatitis, though. Your mouth will kill cold viruses before then can cause trouble.

The trick is commitment. You have to say I won’t touch my eyes or nose no matter how much they itch. If you have to touch them, wash your hands first. Itches go away if you ignore them, and in a pinch you can use the back of your sleeve, if you have kept your hands off of it. After a while it becomes automatic and not hard at all. I feel empowered by not being a victim to colds, but most people probably don't get off on cheap thrills like that.
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Re: Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season...

by Thomas » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:45 pm

Covert,

When I was on the road as a wine salesman I had to shake a lot of hands. I always carried with me a package of alcohol wipes. After each hand-shaking meeting I wiped my hands in the car and then moved on. Never got a cold.

One other way to avoid a cold is to stay away from people completely. I'm working on it.
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Re: Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season...

by Covert » Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:29 am

Thomas wrote: When I was on the road as a wine salesman I had to shake a lot of hands. I always carried with me a package of alcohol wipes. After each hand-shaking meeting I wiped my hands in the car and then moved on. Never got a cold.

One other way to avoid a cold is to stay away from people completely. I'm working on it.


Thomas,

The hand wiping was a good idea, but it also sounds like you have a really good immune system. I don’t think you can avoid cold germs altogether because they are everywhere. Not touching your eyes and nose make all other precautions moot.

My only interaction with people, other than professionally, or casually, as when buying eggs at Stewarts, is on this Forum.

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Re: Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season...

by Howard » Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:10 am

I remember you posted this some time ago and it made sense to me. I have since adopted it as gospel and avoided colds since doing so. Of course, it didn't take much to convince me. In medical school, I was the only student who did not get sick on the pediatrics rotation because (I believe) I washed my hands before and after I touched any patient. Soap and water, that's all it takes. I like your ideas about avoiding vulnerable areas like nose and eyes too.

Here's to your good health!
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Re: Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season.

by Ed Draves » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:46 am

Thanks for the reminder. I remember this post from last year and I'm working on it.
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Re: Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season...

by Covert » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:32 am

Howard wrote: I have since adopted it as gospel and avoided colds since doing so. Of course, it didn't take much to convince me. In medical school, I was the only student who did not get sick on the pediatrics rotation because (I believe) I washed my hands before and after I touched any patient. Soap and water, that's all it takes. I like your ideas about avoiding vulnerable areas like nose and eyes too.


That’s great to hear, Howard. Going to such measures to eliminate colds probably sounds crazy to people who don’t love fine wine (fine food enjoyment is important, too). No doubt you have seen those studies where a person with a cold is placed with a healthy group to play poker for a few hours. You watch everyone handle the cards, rub their eyes and pull at the septum of their noses; and they all catch colds. And when you are aware of this dynamic, you observe just about everybody almost constantly touching both areas, when they are on subways and in every other venue loaded with cold germs. It’s only through the grace of nature that fewer than 200 types of cold viruses exist (you become immune to the ones that get you once) preventing people from suffering colds every day.

Here’s to your continuing success!
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Re: Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season...

by keith prothero » Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:09 am

Sound advice Covert. My remedy however,is to migrate to warmer climes.Hence off to the beautiful Cape in two weeks time,and the internet is so wonderful,you will not know I have gone :lol:
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Re: Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season...

by Dan Smothergill » Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:07 pm

I never got a cold from a sneeze or coughing, even with people sneezing and coughing from colds in the next seat on planes. And I travel constantly.

I do. We were at a wonderful ice cream shop in Ithaca a month or so ago. The teenage guy who took our order was sneezing, coughing and wiping all over the place. I thought, oh god I'm going to get a cold. I absolutely did not touch my eyes or nose at any time during the episode. Sure enough, 2 days later I had a cold.
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Re: Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season...

by Thomas » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:33 pm

Dan Smothergill wrote:
I never got a cold from a sneeze or coughing, even with people sneezing and coughing from colds in the next seat on planes. And I travel constantly.

I do. We were at a wonderful ice cream shop in Ithaca a month or so ago. The teenage guy who took our order was sneezing, coughing and wiping all over the place. I thought, oh god I'm going to get a cold. I absolutely did not touch my eyes or nose at any time during the episode. Sure enough, 2 days later I had a cold.


Dan, the guy was wiping all over the place--probably on the ice cream dispenser too and then you ate the ice cream.

From what I understand the germs that cause colds enter through mucus membranes, wherever they are located.
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Re: Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season...

by Covert » Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:51 am

Dan Smothergill wrote: We were at a wonderful ice cream shop in Ithaca a month or so ago. The teenage guy who took our order was sneezing, coughing and wiping all over the place. I thought, oh god I'm going to get a cold. I absolutely did not touch my eyes or nose at any time during the episode. Sure enough, 2 days later I had a cold.


Dan,

You might be perfectly correct, but from my experience it takes a while to adopt the hands-out-of-the face method. Most people touch their faces unconsciously so they have no memory of doing it. At first, even trying hard not to touch my face, I would find my fingers there.

And with regard to what Thomas said: again, he could be absolutely right, but from my experience, I never got one that way. This will sound really gross, but I used to test my assumption by purposely getting cold viruses in my mouth. I had a little niece who was always sick and her fingers from having colds would glisten. So when she offered me popcorn and such from her hand, I went along to see if I could catch her colds that way. Never did. I also eat nuts and such on planes and such without washing first, suffering no ill consequences. I really think your digestive aspect of saliva kills cold germs before they can attach to membranes. And I never read about the mouth being a problem area, while doctors constantly mention noses and eyes as conduits.

Covert


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Re: Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season...

by keith prothero » Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:50 am

Covert---do you advocate the use of cloth handkerchiefs,or are disposable paper ones,more effective at reducing the risk of infection.?
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Re: Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season...

by Dan Smothergill » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:25 am

Tom-
I wasn't clear. Sorry. If the guy touched the ice cream it was before we got there. He just took our order and gave the change. Someone else got the ice cream.

=====================

Most people touch their faces unconsciously

Covert-
I'll get cracking on the old unconscious. Actually, a good technique is to have someone else watch you. Wives are especially good at this; they have lots of practice.
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Re: Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season...

by Thomas » Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:59 am

Dan Smothergill wrote:Tom-
I wasn't clear. Sorry. If the guy touched the ice cream it was before we got there. He just took our order and gave the change. Someone else got the ice cream.

=====================



There's your answer Dan, "he gave the change," then, you touched your face with your hand.

I've read medical advice that places hand touching at the top of the list for transferring those bugs, which is why Covert is correct about not touching your eyes or nose--those membranes.

Covert is probably correct that the acids in our saliva and digestive tract are strong enough to kill the cold bug, but most bugs seem to develop over time resistance to our resistances. Just heard a story this morning about a strain of intestinal bacteria that feeds on the antibiotics that doctors so freely dispense, and this strain is resistant to the antibiotics. It got its start in hospitals, the biggest bug spreading factories on earth.

To bring this to wine: I don't think I've ever gotten a cold from drinking wine.
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Re: Public Service Message - how to avoid colds this season...

by Covert » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:49 pm

keith prothero wrote:Covert---do you advocate the use of cloth handkerchiefs,or are disposable paper ones,more effective at reducing the risk of infection.?


I don't blow or wipe my nose without first washing my hands. Then I pull a paper tissue out of my back pocket, which I placed there in the morning after washing my hands. After I use the tissue, I turn off the water, since the handles can have cold germs on them. Waste a little hot water, but what the heck.

I know all of this sounds extreme. I don't have a fetish about any other kinds of germs. I just love wine so much that I refuse to blow an evening with it.

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