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Chapter III Page 2

All cars, old and new, provide plenty of healthy and vigorous viruses for the breathing organs of the passengers who ride in air-conditioned cars. The same goes for buses, trains and planes. And remember, summer cold is obstinate, many times more than a winter cold.

But why do only a few isolated cases catch cold from this lively and permanent source during the whole summer? Why so much exposure and so little infection? Why no epidemic? Why, when a member of the family catches a summer cold, the rest of the family members do not catch it? Or if they do, it is a rare thing. Why no person-to-per-son transmission during summer months?

I think that as the visitor from Soviet Armenia indirectly put it, ones state of mind has a lot to do with it. Summer is a time of travel, vacations, picnics, out-doors, barbecues, no schools, well-lit lawn and drunken guffaws heard from distant homes, in all the neighborhood, giving a party outside. You too contribute to the jubilation and your laughter is heard by others in the neighborhood.

Summer is fiesta worldwide, the time of quiet exhilaration, and when it ends, the bright jubilant smiles on faces are not quite there anymore. There is a letdown, a subtle one, at the end of each summer, and the human mind collectively experiences mild depression not quite consciously felt.

The virus comes, confident, not be-cause the autumn has arrived, but be-cause the summer has ended. The fiesta is over. You have a sense of having put one section of the good life behind you, and it may or may never come again. There are only worries and hard work on ahead, particularly for the students. With the advent of a gray winter the virus overcomes, and that is my personal opinion based on observation and guess-work. The virus comes mostly from the school classroom.

The sixteenth century poet, William Cawper, must have agreed with me when he wrote:
O’Winter! Ruler of the inverted year
Thy scattered hair with sleet like ashes filled
Thy breath congealed upon thy lips, thy cheeks
Fingered with a beard made white with other snows
Than those of age …

What you read above fully supports my point of view and “white with other snows than those of age” carries weight and meaning in the direction of winter-time gloom, escapable only when you have a home in Florida or Palm Spring to live in until springtime.

The green is gone and the trees look like wood sticking out of earth scorched by the cold.

And you have caught the cold. If you have done nothing to prevent it, you soon are in the advanced stages of the cold. Your nose is plugged and every time you blow into the tissue or hand-kerchief, you hear a horn-like noise in your ear. Your brain seems to be coming out in liquid form.

I suggest that in the advanced stages of the cold you have the nose wash, quick, with the vitamin C solution. I repeat. Crush a 500-mg tablet is a normal drinking glass. Add water until it is a quarter-full. Stir, draw it up from your cupped hand into your nostrils and nasal passages three or four times, and get it all out so you can breathe – through the nose, not the mouth. No doubt you already have taken some prescribed tranquilizer, which makes things easier.

When your breathing becomes easy, you can rest better. This works like an anti-depressant. You sense the early signs of recovery, and this helps in-crease your resistance.

The gamma globulin shot? At an advanced stage of the cold, you have weakened the full-blooming virus to a level it becomes similar to a vaccine, but after considerable suffering.

You want to get rid of the cold as fast as you can, you want to go to work, and you want to go on with life. Get an intravenous 500 CC injection of vitamin C and see what will happen.

Immediately after the shot the flow from the nose increases, and if you cough, you will cough with force and with more discharge. For a couple of hours it will seem like you have become worse.

The nose drips like a leaking faucet. It seems you have sunk further and deeper in the wretchedness of the illness. To some this may appear to be a mistake, but it is not. You are already getting well much sooner than you anticipated. The mucus discharge, which would normally take two to three days, is being done with within two to three hours. The virus is kicked out, washed out, and the disease is passing its peak, quick.

There is a fruit in Iran I don’t know of it being available in the U.S. it is called sweet lemon and it is very good for you while you are having a cold. Sweet lemon is a citrus fruit, very sweet in taste and good for all illnesses except diarrhea. It is rich with vitamin C.

Eating this fruit is refreshing, and you can eat a basket-full. When taking an antibiotic, it is great stuff for filtering out the toxins that the antibiotic produces in your blood. It has a greater reputation of being a medical fruit than any other.

If fruits were allowed to be imported to the U.S., I would have air freighted crates, Tammy. Perhaps contact could be made finally through sweet lemons.

Why don’t you call? Why the silence? Are you set on being a lost friend forever? Are you really down with a cold? Have you, like me, married again, have you remarried your ex-husband, are you on a secret honeymoon somewhere in Europe or Florida, and your secretary is protecting your secret? Or is she protecting your rest? If the latter is the case, rest while I write. Do nothing more than rest. You may be bored with resting but try to like it. Enjoy the perfect idleness, watch the ceiling if you are not sleeping. Let your thoughts float. That is the best state of mind when you are down with a cold.

The theory of quick response is conductive to your being up on your feet when fighting a cold. If you allowed yourself to dive, stay down.

Lay down to rest in an absolute sense. Don’t even watch television. A heart-rending drama or watching news broadcasts with all its shock and excitement puts your mind, the very center of your existence, into active service. Avoid that.

Experiment with yourself if you want and see what absolute rest means. When you are resting and your mind is not active on any particular subject or idea, and you are not having a brainstorm – cold won’t seem to be with you. But take a newspaper and read, and soon a sneeze or two comes, and you have to reach for the tissue box. Stop reading and you will be back in the dry state. Repeat again and the same thing happens. There is a direct relationship between the idleness of the mind and the drip, as sure as the unfaltering law of gravity.

Don’t do the company’s work while you’re in bed with a cold, even if it is merely reading a report or making sketches for a design. You won’t serve the company’s cause by doing beyond the call of duty work and causing the extension of your illness. Just rest. Let a tranquilizer help you if you are bored and want to do something. Keep yourself in a state of not wanting to do anything as long as you can.

When you are fit for work, you will know it.

Don’t dash to work out of eagerness, or go early with the telltale signs of the cold – the sore edges of your nostrils and the upper lip only prove to the boss you were not loafing. But the boss, however keen-eyed, passing good judgment on you, doesn’t speed your good riddance of the cold.

Remember, as long as you sneeze when out of bed several times a day, you are still flu-ridden and you can infect your associates as well as the family, and nothing can be done about it as long as the method I’ve shared with you is not practiced by all.

Under the circumstances allow your associates the chance of getting infected from other sources rather than from you.

At the same time keep in mind that if your job needs you badly, and you feel that you must attend to something important, by all means go to work and don’t mind how many people you will flatten with the residue of your cold. If your associates don’t get it from you, they will get it from others. Thus, you will not do them harm if out of no choice you infect a few. Only in this regard, try to maintain an ethical balance.

While lying in bed with a cold, resting, having nothing to do, being away from the commotion and stresses of daily life, and being the recipient of special care and attention of your spouse, things sometimes steer off course. A strong de-sire for the ultimate in togetherness may surface and if things happen, in whatever stage of the cold you are in, you will get worse. You have to be with the virus for a couple more days. But what is two or three days in a lifetime?

To my mind comes the refrains of an old song the frat-boys sang at their drunken beer parties:
“I can’t give you anything but love, baby…”

I don’t remember the remaining lines, Tammy. My head is full of fragments of songs I heard when we were together in a singing crowd. You sung in harmony with others, but I listened. The tunes of the ballads of love from the twenties with their sweet, timeless innocence are all in my head, but not quite the lyrics. Here is one:

“Saturday night…
I wait for you, honey,
At half past eight.”
And so, I wait.


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