Monday, January 29, 2007

How To Catch A Cold

Anyone who knows me knows I love to people watch.

It is a fun, unobtrusive hobby, especially when you live in a big city as I do. There are so many vast and varied characters, you can learn a lot about society and the ways we do the things that we do.

One thing I’ve learned, young people, especially young girls, will stop at no lengths to impress.

It is winter here and we recently had the coldest day of the year, when temperatures dropped to -25C. We are still having some cold, winter-like weather – which is natural and normal this time of year.

Yet, at shopping malls that I’ve been at recently, I’ve seen young girls in mini-skirts, tank tops and flip-flops. No jackets, hats or mitts anywhere to be seen.

I’m no fashion guru, but even I know that type of clothing won’t keep the winter chill at bay.

And it isn’t just young girls inviting frost-bite – I saw a man in flip-flops, and bare feet trudging through the snow on my way to a client site the other day. Bare feet – toes and all – knee-deep in snow, ice and that wind-chill!

When I was in high school and later in life, when I was in the army, the same advice was handed down to me – always take care of your feet. In high school, I had a teacher that swore by keeping your feet warm, you warded off the potential for catching the common cold. In the army, they order you to keep changing your boots and socks while out in the field, to ensure they stay dry and warm – a wet foot is a cold foot and that leads to foot rot.

Regardless of our soldering on feet – winters in Canada are cold. Welcome to Canada, pass me my toque, eh?

They tell us the easiest way to keep from catching a cold or a flu is to wash our hands. Though I’d bet easy money we’d have fewer colds and flues if people also dressed for the weather.

I don’t know how accurate my old high school teacher was in his foot-theory – but I do know you’d never see me in flip-flops in the snow.

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