Ring a ring a roses,
a pocket full of posies,
we all fall down.
Apparently this little nursery rhyme was written about the Plague, and the modern plague is about to start. It was announced by the man who sneezed beside me on the tube last week. And re-announced by the woman who coughed on my paper this morning. It will be carried on the still warm hand-rails of train carriages, in the confined spaces of the stairways you file through on your commute. There is no escape from The Villains, Flu and Chesty Cough, in the Gotham of your immune system. It’s a full blown attack. This is the season of sniffling on the train, sneezing on the bus, coughing on the street. This is the season I am afraid of but I am afraid mostly of guerrilla tactics employed by those Villains, Flu and Chesty Cough. Their weapons of choice: sneezing and coughing.
In the depths of winter I am happy in my wool blended coat and massive scarf. Not only am I fuelling GAPs seasonal ad campaigns by dressing head to toe like a feature from their home page, I am creating a barrier against The Bad Guys and their potent weapons, sneezing and coughing. The people who sneeze ineffectually into their hands, then grope for the handrail mid closing sniffle; I feel safer knowing I can retreat with some small territorial advantage into the relatively germ free recesses of my scarf and avoid the free flow of their now circulating germs. With flu shots being doled out like cure-alls, most people are suffering and as you are your own battle ground in the fight against Illness, you are at a severe disadvantage. Constantly under attack by the germs other people are senselessly spreading on the hand-rails and door handles of your City, the air you are breathing in is essentially toxic too.
Retro designs like the Swing Coat and Peter Pan Collars are all over the place this year, perhaps it’s time for their return of something more practical, like the handkerchief? The Good Guy, Health, has no physical protection against the weapons of choice for The Villains who challenge Health. If you’re willing, you’re able; you should all be armed and ready to fight the good fight.
Somehow the Guinness Book of Records was there to capture the record for the fastest sneeze, set at 115 m/ph! Up to 40,000 droplets can be ejected from your nose and can travel a distance of 2 to 3 meters in any given sneeze. Personally this makes me want to wrap my entire body up in a big handkerchief and stay at home. There is no hero in your inner Metropolis, we’ll have to save ourselves.
Last winter just shy of 30,000 people died from cold related illnesses. It’s safe to say Flu and Chesty Cough would call that a win. Call it a duty, call it a right but protect yourself and your loved ones this winter and restrict your sneezing to the confines of cloth. Alright so you’ll have a pocket full of germs, but better that than providing the enemy with ammunition.
Even I am not immune to the flu faux pas. A surprise sneeze caught me off guard last night and caught Alun more so.
No one said I was immune.
Next time you sneeze, be a hero.
Use a hanky!