Saturday, 1 February 2014

Atishoo, Atishoo, We All Feel Down

The rain it raineth, the less than happy household cougheth and sneezeth.  It is not a bad cold but inconvenient and annoying. 

We know how we got it.  A return rail journey, two Underground short runs and an afternoon in a theatre.  During all of them there were people coughing and sneezing without bothering, blasting out the germs looking for a new location to thrive.

This is now the norm, it is rare for people to do as we were trained and expected to do, take out a handkerchief, or a bit of cloth or tissue or anything to cover the nose and mouth to stop the projectile germ distribution and reduce the racket. 

One of the ironies is people thoroughly sprayed and plastered with deodorants and fragrances to prevent the merest hint of any natural body odour escaping a few inches unleashing their germs the full length of a carriage or across most of an auditorium.

The pictures above are from a time when a nanny (literally almost) state issued posters and relentless propaganda in the war against disease.  It did need saying. 

This was a time before antibiotics and other medications were available to curb or cure the effects.  Homes were cold and often damp and air pollution common.

A common cold could turn nasty in a number of ways, especially among the vulnerable.  Also, production was of critical importance.  People needed to be at work. 

These days we rely on consumption and it is the retail figures that can suffer.  It would look ridiculous for the state to lecture people on health for the sake of shopping.

There is a further aspect which is of another age.  That is the notion of common courtesy.  Then you simply did not strew your germs all over others at will but had regard for their interests. particularly with the children and the old. 

Today's individualism insists that we must not restrain our behaviour just because someone else might suffer for it.

Has anyone attempted to cost the consequences of this?


  1. Mass immigration and migration. Of germs and ignorance.

  2. I think supermarkets are good places to pick up infections. At one time, fruit and veg were only handled by the grocer and there were none of those flimsy plastic bags where people have to lick their fingers to open the things.