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Technology and the common cold

Just in time for Christmas celebrations, my husband managed to pick up a cold or flu bug. (These days they seem to be one and the same.) He seemed to have contracted a particularly nasty strain of the virus, so I set about ensuring that I, too, would not fall victim to this ailment.

When his hacking cough persisted throughout the night, I quickly moved to another bedroom hoping to escape those millions of germs just floating around waiting for the slightest opportunity to infiltrate my system.

During the day I followed up by drinking gallons of tea, but despite this an ominous tickle started to develop in my nose. I turned on the humidifier and even took some Advil as a precautionary measure to ward off any viruses.

I then proceeded to disinfect every counter surface, every door knob, and every appliance in our home trying to wipe clean all lurking cold bugs. I felt I was winning the war, but it was wishful thinking. I was only fooling myself.

The tickle in my nose persisted and now moved to my throat. Deep down I knew that it was just a matter of time before I, too, would succumb to that most dreaded, most vile of winter woes – the common cold.

I agonized about what else I could have done to protect myself. And then it struck me. I had failed to sanitize the most utilized items in our household. How could I have been so oblivious to the obvious?

Did you know that on average most people check their phones almost 50 times a day? And since most of us carry our phones with us to the bathroom (because heaven forbid that we should miss a call, tweet, or text), our phones, according to Professor Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona, Tucson, carry ten times as much bacteria as a toilet seat. (Yetch!) British researchers even claim that one in six devices are contaminated with E. coli. (Yikes!)

Well, I did end up catching a cold. And I blame technology and all the gadgets that I use on a daily basis for my downfall.

It also might not have helped that I had recently bragged about not ever catching the cold or flu bug. (It’s true. My last cold was about ten years ago. But that’s what happens when you get too boastful. Karma can, indeed, be a bitch.)

So my resolution for 2019 is a simple one. I promise to disinfect every phone, iPad, remote control and laptop in our house at least once a week. It can’t hurt.

When the experts warned us about computer bugs, they weren’t just kidding.

©2017 BY GAIL KRAWETZ

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