The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

Girls softball falls to BCC 8–1 in Battle of Bethesda
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MCPS grading regulations impair student performance
LIVE: Boys Lacrosse takes on Churchill

LIVE: Boys Lacrosse takes on Churchill

April 8, 2024

B-Well: The cold conundrum

“Bundle up or you’ll catch a cold!” We’ve all heard our mothers caution us too many times, but is there truth to this myth?

Ultimately, no. Grandma’s winter hat and fuzzy scarf aren’t a surgical mask. They won’t protect you from other people’s germs.

The human body depends on homeostasis, the ability to maintain its internal stability even while facing external changes. While the outer temperature of the body varies widely based on environmental conditions, the core internal temperature remains generally constant. Most people have a body temperature of around 98.6° F that only changes with a fever.

Fevers only occur when the body purposefully raises its temperature to fight off infections. Your internal temperature remains constant in any weather.

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A person can “catch a cold” year round, not just during winter. Doctors see an upward spike in patients during the cold months because the cold and flu virus are spread more easily between people indoors, according to ABC.com. When it’s cold, people are more likely to spend longer periods of time indoors at close proximity to others, which facilitates the spread of infection.

Cold weather doesn’t cause infection, it just increases its chance of spreading. When you’re coughed on, sneezed on or giving your buddy a handshake, you’re just as susceptible to the common cold in hot temperatures as cold ones.

The common cold is a group of symptoms in the upper respiratory tract caused by a large number of different viruses, according to WebMD. Although colds are usually mild, accompanied by coughs and runny noses, they’re the leading cause of doctor visits and absences from school and work. Approximately 22 million total school days are lost annually in the U.S. because of the common cold, according to a 2011 study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Whether warm, cold, bundled up or jacketless, the only way to completely avoid getting sick is to isolate yourself from all human contact. So while a warm coat and a cup of tea can keep you comfy in inclement weather, they won’t protect you from the germs.

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