DEAR ABBY: Christmas came early last year: Our copier repairman at work gave me his cold. I spent Christmas Eve and Day with my cat, because I dared not inflict my cold on my elderly parents.
Abby, please remind your readers to cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing. A big thank-you. Sign me ... AAACHOO!
DEAR AAACHOO: You're welcome. (Gesundheit!)
As important as covering one's mouth when coughing or sneezing may be, it is equally important for EVERYONE to frequently wash their hands during cold season. Contrary to popular belief that colds are caught from germs flying through the air, more colds are caught because people cough and sneeze into their hands, and then touch objects that are touched by others (door handles, elevator buttons, stair rails, telephones). When their contaminated fingers touch their eyes or noses -- THAT is how colds are transmitted.
Frequent hand-washing (or sanitizing) is the best defense. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: As we all know the importance of washing our hands because illness can be transmitted by touching our eyes, nose and mouth, it amazes me that strangers have an uncontrollable desire to test a newborn infant's hand grasp. Don't they know that babies comfort themselves by putting their hands into their mouths?
It's flu season, Abby, so please ask your readers to try to keep their hands to themselves when they see a baby. Only their smiles, coos and kind words are appreciated by their parents. -- CALIFORNIA MOTHER OF TWO
DEAR MOTHER OF TWO: That makes good sense to me. Although tiny babies are almost irresistible, adults must bear in mind that the immune systems of infants are fragile, and make the effort to lessen their exposure to illnesses they may be ill-equipped to fight off.