It’s been nearly a month into the fall semester classes, still in the middle of September, and already I have noticed the astonishing amount of coughs and sneezes in my classes. As a freshman, all I have are rumors of the infamous “Penn State cold” that spreads around State college in no time at all. In preparation for this infamous time at Penn State, I was intrigued in the dynamics of a sneeze.
I was online researching how the common cold spreads so easily when I stumbled upon a 6abc World News article depicting how a sneeze looks in slow motion. After watching the video, I was astonished by the range of which the mucus can reach.
Image found here
The 6abc article makes reference to the study done by the New England Journal of medicine, which ultimately concluded that, a sneeze could travel upwards of 3-26 feet. Even more appalling, the closer someone is to the sneeze the more vulnerable they are to the thicker mucus. The study was done based on a sneeze that was not coerced in any way.
The nose seems to be the most commonly affected area during a cold as made evident by the number of sneezes in a classroom and empty tissue boxes lying around the dorms. Thanks to the notorious sneeze, it is also one of the most effective ways to pass on the cold to someone else.
However, it is from the research done on observing the elements of a sneeze that the solution to end the spread of the cold is to simply cover the nose! It is important to use a tissue to prohibit the sneeze from extending towards other people, potentially infecting them. Another commonplace method to forbid the advancement of the cold is by washing hands. Now more than ever the human race is aware of the staggering amount of germs in our world. Thus, it is absolutely crucial that all people wash their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, to ensure immunity.
It is important to take care of yourself during this upcoming cold season, but more importantly to be conscious of those around you, as to not infect them with a potential virus. A college campus can be a hot bed for viruses such as the cold, so it is important to stay informed as winter approaches.