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Bless You

June 10, 2012

While I was sitting in a typically uninspiring and blandly decorated Panera this morning I saw someone sneeze. He was, as fashionable Minnesotans are wont to do, sitting outside in the sun and heat and I, always sensible, was sitting in the shady and air conditioned restaurant. I was looking at the people sitting outside thinking about why bright sun and heat make for a better eating experience when this guy drew my attention by sneezing.

 

He sneezed three times and what made it bad from my perspective was his sneeze cover. You’ve all seen the “Cover Your Cough” signs, right? You can get them here for free if you want. I have them all and I’ve got them posted all over my house, at least one in every room, as a personal reminder, but you might be happy with just two or three. Yes, they’re signs for coughing, but the same principle applies to public sneezes as well.

 

Anyway, you’re familiar with the sign and you know you’re supposed to sneeze into your sleeve, or elbow if you don’t have a tissue (that’s always been confusing for me because who doesn’t always have a tissue with them) and this guy didn’t think to use a napkin and he was wearing a t-shirt so he didn’t have a sleeve so he chose to sneeze into his elbow. Good for him, only he didn’t really sneeze into his elbow. What he did – and I was able to see this because of the angle of my seat – was raise his bent arm and turn his head away from the person he was with and lower his head toward his elbow and sneeze. While the gesture probably looked good to everyone else, I was able to see his mouth and his round lips making the “chooooo” part of the sneeze a good three inches above his elbow. You read that right: above his elbow. It was, friends, a non-cover. An open sneeze.

Thankfully he was outside. Thankfully for me, that is. I don’t know what will happen to the other half-dozen or so customers also sitting outside.

 

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2012 6:15 pm

    The non tissue sneeze. A rather gross event for sneezer and sneezy (ie). I would make a scathing comment, but about the time I did, I would sneeze slightly above my elbow or worse right through my tissue.

    Write on!

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  2. June 10, 2012 6:43 pm

    Oh no… a glaring flaw in the “sneeze in your elbow” method. Aim matters!

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  3. June 10, 2012 9:46 pm

    Ewwww

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  4. CELT permalink
    June 11, 2012 2:16 pm

    I don’t subscribe to the “sneeze in the sleeve/elbow” philosophy because I am physically unable to REACH my elbow with my mouth (not even close) and arthritic shoulders mean the sleeves are a wash too so I’ll stick to covering my mouth with (shocking as it may seem) MY HAND if I can’t get to a tissue fast enough and then deal with it after by using hand sanitizer (which I always carry in my purse). For some of us the OLD way of doing things is still the best way no matter what the current “thinking” is and besides, in a sneezing emergency, it is absolutely instinctive after 58 years to cover with my hand, not my arm. IF I remember to TRY to use my arm (useless as that would be due to CERYTAIN LEAKAGE) it would probably be too late anyway and I’d be sure to spew everywhere. So don’t look reproachingly at us old codgers who do it the way we always have. Sometimes it’s the best way to keep the germs contained. Besides, when someone sneezes into their sleeves would you want to be hugged by them immediately after? Ugh I wouldn’t. It would be like getting draped with someones old soggy tissue. So, in summary, it’s 1st tissue, failing that, hand, after either, hand wash or sanitize and I’m good to go.

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    • Michael Fishman permalink
      June 12, 2012 5:52 am

      Celt, I’m not sure I’d want to be hugged by anyone, but that’s a blog entry for another day! I also have sore shoulders (not to mention my massive, manly biceps!) which sometimes makes it difficult to reach the elbow area and I also sneeze into my hand(s). Old habits, right?

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  5. Michael Fishman permalink
    June 12, 2012 5:51 am

    Celt, I’m not sure I’d want to be hugged by anyone, but that’s a blog entry for another day! I also have sore shoulders (not to mention my massive, manly biceps!) which sometimes makes it difficult to reach the elbow area and I also sneeze into my hand(s). Old habits, right?

    Like

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