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Why do we make jokes about man colds? I guess it’s a matter of perspective and good humor. Men tend to grumble and complain and sound like growling bears when they have some physical nuisance to deal with. Then there is the severity and duration of the colds. I mean, it’s obviously the kind of cold only a man could have. Mostly we joke about it because “laughter is good, like a medicine.” That’s not only in the Bible it is also backed by science. It’s hard to be cheerful and have a positive attitude when you feel awful, but if you can pull it off, it will actually contribute to your healing and strengthen your immune system. If nothing else, having a sense of humor will strengthen those forced to look after you. As the saying goes, “she who laughs, lasts.”

Which brings me to germ theory. I have long believed that germ theory is at best woefully inadequate. It does not tell the whole story. At best it is a small part of the equation. There is some interesting information to be found around “terrain theory” that is fairly provocative. I won’t go into all that, but we do know that we have a natural immune systems that plays a significant role in our health. The pop culture and the pharmaceutical industry has given us a false narrative that has little basis in scientific reality. Take my husband for example, who has been at home, away from people all week, except for me of course, and has somehow managed to catch a nasty cold. He is feeling much better and will survive, but I mean, how in the world did he even get sick?

Now, as for myself, I have been out hugging people, shaking hands, receiving sneezes, lurking in poorly ventilated rooms, and basically marinating in a swath of potential horrors. I may well catch a cold at some point, but so far I seem relatively well. Of course the theory goes I must be a carrier, or the bug jumped over me and just landed on him, all notions that are utterly foolish.

A bit funny, speaking of pop culture narratives, hubby has this idea that if I simply don’t kiss him I won’t catch his cold. Its very cute, but we already have dinner together, we sleep in the same bed, we live in the same house, so I’m pretty sure a kiss is not going to be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back. There is this weird, superstitious narrative that tries to suggest we can “catch colds,” as if they are actual bugs like a fly or something, that lands on us and sticks there. Actually, all that coughing and sneezing is not caused by germs at all, it is caused by our own immune system. Rather than evidence you have germs, it is evidence you have an immune system more than capable of defending itself.

Again, the Bible tells us we are “wonderfully and fearfully made,” and we really are. Anyway, that’s all I have to say right now. Try to greet these minor inconveniences with praise, wonder, and gratitude, because it really does help you to feel better, too.