Monday, May 15, 2006

Project Lady Macbeth. This year I am determined not to get sick during winter. Touch chipboard. Oh what a foolish project it is, especially considering that Natalya will probably infect me in the next few days. She has lost her voice, so she asked Gollum-like if I could make her doctor's appointment this morning. I felt like a right moron because I couldn't spell her name out for the receptionist.

I have always had trouble spelling words out loud. When I'm asked, I prefer to write down the word and read it out rather than summoning it from my brain. I remember reading once that it's a brain issue: you need to access different parts of the brain in order to express yourself aloud and on paper. But it really galled me in those spelling bees at school. This is because spelling bees are a public performance of competency or incompetency, and I hate being exposed as incompetent when my written spelling has always been nearly perfect (indeed, it's now a working necessity and a matter of professional pride for me). There was a notorious incident in year 7 in which I was asked to spell "diarrhoea" and, when I missed one of the letters, I ran out of the room sobbing and took refuge, ludicrously enough, in the toilet.

But anyway. I have decided to call my winter campaign against colds Project Lady Macbeth, because its main tactic is the washing of hands. But please, I am not turning into Howard Hughes here, even though my left index fingernail is becoming worryingly long and soon I will be able to use it to snort cocaine and to tap menacingly on hard surfaces and perhaps even to slash at my enemies like a velociraptor while emitting blood-curdling shrieks. Here's hoping. So after a little bit of trademark Mel online research, here I am proud to unveil the key strategies of Project Lady Macbeth.

1. Handwashing
Apparently bar soap is a perfect breeding ground for viruses and bacteria, so use liquid soap instead. Wash your hands after going to the loo and after handling things that might have been touched by people with colds. (Like cats.) But don't do this obsessively or you won't build up a healthy immunity to bacteria. My ex-housemate Jasmine, who I hated, was a real clean freak and she was sick all the time in winter.

2. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
You would think people would do this instinctively, or have it drummed into them by their parents, but then you'll see them just propelling a mist of contaminated particles out of their mouths and into the face of the person opposite them. And I just despair about people who spit on the footpath. Fucking disgusting.

3. Surface washing
This is probably the best thing. When I worked in market research, the union instituted moist wipes at every workstation and this cut employee colds dramatically. Regularly wipe down surfaces that come into contact from multiple people: stair rails, telephones, counter tops, computer keyboards and door knobs.

4. Don't touch your face
Apparently a lot of colds are caught through the eyes, nose and mouth. So try not to rub your eyes, pick your nose or touch your mouth. Although this is easier said than done because most people have weird compulsive gestures.

5. Fresh foods and fluids
I am trying to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, concentrating on things like apples, oranges, carrot, spinach and broccoli. I think the cold-avoiding properties of Vitamin C are mostly bullshit, but I guess eating more fresh stuff can't hurt. Also, keeping your fluids up is meant to be good. Although considering that I drink about ten cups of tea during a standard working day, I don't really worry that much about it.

6. Getting enough sleep
Guess I'm lucky because I have never really had problems sleeping, but if you don't get enough of it, you'll wear down your immune system.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter