Tuesday, September 07, 2004


As I write this, I am preparing for my first day of school (oh, wait, that's TODAY) by digging through a pile of papers, attempting to retrieve my student ID# and revising all of the papers and information I was given. I have no idea what to expect, save for the fact that I'm now sitting on a sore throat that started up just yesterday. Yes, I am coming down with a cold.

It's strange, that mankind has found a way to put a man on the moon, deliver dirty pictures to teenaged boys' computers in a matter of seconds, and automatically slice bread, yet STILL can't cure the common cold. The only they can do is alleviate symptoms by giving us pills and syrups that make us edgy. As it is, some athletes have come under fire for using cold medication to boost their performance. You know that product, "Sudafed"? The active ingredient is pseudoephedrine, which is a similar product to ephedra, a stimulant that is a controlled substance (read: banned in some places).

There are some who really dislike pharmaceutical companies, given some of their business practices. Understandably, they are businesses, and are therefore concerned about the bottom line. But, I still have a few beefs with pharmaceutical companies, such as the fact that they advertise on television, which means bigger push towards more expensive medication, which may or may not be any more effective than cheaper medication. This in turn means that doctors are put under more pressure to prescribe medication that not only costs more, is not necessarily more effective, but could also be a lot less proven (ie: side effects).

I have a bigger beef with the fact that pharmaceutical companies seem to be focused more on treatment rather than cure. If someone actually got around to finding the cure for cancer, AIDS, and the common cold, we'd have a lot fewer pharmaceutical companies. But then, we'd probably have pharmaceutical companies trying to create cures for "made up" diseases such as Attention Deficit Disorder (that was a sarcastic comment, by the way).

But really, let's face it. Kids had the same attention spans now that they did 20-some odd years ago. What has changed? Apart from the fact that today's teachers are more than likely to push psychoactive meds on kids to make them more attentive, the kids are the same.

But I digress.

So, while I'm preparing for the onslaught of dry coughs, runny noses, and stuffed sinuses, I'm left trying to figure out exactly what it is that caused this. Given the number of activities I have done over the past week (which is roughly the incubation period for the cold virus), it's tough to nail down a specific culprit or cause.

I wasn't in contact with a large number of people until the weekend, where I attended the tenth annual Capoeira Ache Brasil Batizado, where most of the students attended to enhance their Capoeira skills and receive their belt. As some of the students and teachers are coming from around the world, it only makes sense they'd be bringing something else with them apart from their ache (that's Portuguese for "everything positive", you know).

This is where most of the rules for cold prevention pretty much go out the window (avoiding contact being the number one). I know I shook hands and made other casual contact with a lot of other students and instructors. Sure, only a germ-phobic hypochondriac would exact measures for cold prevention this time of the year, but I'm living proof of the fact that colds can hit you even when it's not the season for it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try to sweat it all off at the gym. I tend to feel better after wearing several layers of clothing and running for 20 minutes.

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