DEFY S. McQUAID! #56: The Cold Season?

The Question

mike d. asks:

Dear Shaun McQuaid,

Why the heck is there a cold season? This doesn’t make sense to me.

The only two things that I could think that might cause it are
1) cold weather. in which case… does Mexico or Mediterranian countries have cold seasons?
2) kids go back to school. in which case… why doesn’t cold season last until June? It can’t be because we grow more immune, because if were were more immune then there wouldn’t be another cold season the next year.

Shaun McQuaid… I’m lost and confused! Please help!

sick of being sick,
mike d.

The Answer

There have been a number of studies done, trying to show a correlation between the cold weather of winter and an increase in illnesses. The results have been conflicting; some show a massive correlation, some show none at all. But you can’t throw out decades of experience – there has to be SOMETHING.

The answer I believe makes the most sense is this:

In the winter season, regardless of whether you live in sunny California or wicked cold New England, the air tends to be drier. Dry air will dry out your sinuses and your nasal passages. And dry nasal passages and sinuses are less able to filter out the germs.

Hence, a twofold effect: When you breathe in the germs, they are more likely to infect you. And when you sneeze or breathe out, you are more likely to infect others. It’s a sort of positive feedback loop.

Thus, a cold season.

3 thoughts on “DEFY S. McQUAID! #56: The Cold Season?

  • 2/21/2006 at 8:13 am

    hmm. that’s the first conclusion I’ve ever heard that makes sense.

    well done shaun McQuaid. You can not be defied.

  • 2/21/2006 at 8:17 am

    positive feedback loop. classic.

  • 2/21/2006 at 1:28 pm

    Can’t deny the force of system dynamics.
    its everywhere you want to be.

    screw visa.


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