Monday, March 10, 2008

Cold from cold?

So there's been a pretty long-running battle between Josh and my mother. She believes that Sadie and Dazee get sick from being in the cold and she has a lot of anecdotal data to support this hypothesis. Most of this falls on deaf ears with my husband and I'm sorta in the middle. My mother's a little more invested in this battle given that she has to deal with sick kids. But Josh and I would like to kids to go out more and spend time in the outdoors. Recently I read something in a magazine about viruses surviving in the winter season but not during the summer -- so I drew the conclusion that maybe my mother is right. Even though people love to say: You can't get sick from the cold/ not wearing hats/mittens as they are transmitted through viruses. Even my Harvard-educated husband enjoyed repeating this axiom, but he failed to acknowledge the subtlety of cold viruses merrily multiplying in the winter but lying dead and dormant in the heat of the summer. I've been trying to convince Josh that my mother has a point by mentioning what I read (albeit published in a "silly" women's magazine), telling him that they call it a cold for a reason, that tropical countries don't seem to have colds/flus and that every time I go somewhere warm for the winter, I'm cured of various ailments. All of this falls on deaf ears which is a little upsetting to me that he would accept time-worn axioms over personal experiences of his wife and mother-in-law. But recently, I got more ammunition to support me and my mother, thanks to Beth's blog and this article that she pointed us all to. They actually proved that flu viruses survive and multiply in cold weather, (interesting to note that the ideal temperature for the nasty creatures is 41 degrees) and that they all died when it reached 86 degrees. Thanks Beth and take that Josh!
So it really stinks that kids shouldn't go out and play too much in the bad weather because they're going to be more likely to get sick. More reasons to move to Hawaii!


frank said...

People sometimes like to camp out in below freezing weather and then seem fine. So I don't think the cold causes colds and 41 degrees isn't really cold.

Cassandra Jupiter said...

Causation can be subtle and hard to prove. I was trying to make a point that cold viruses are more likely to survive in cold weather. Can't have the cold without a living virus.