Chapter III Page 1
I guess, Tammy, if you ever run for political office
you would never make me your speechwriter. But what else can one
think of except assembly line medication when tens of millions are
in the grip of the virus, or are about to receive its visitation
and fall flat in bed weary and depressed.
The virus is so highly contagious that you can’t fend it off
unless you are fully prepared. One sneeze by a passenger in an airplane
and – bingo! The virus has found a home but not necessarily
the soil to proliferate. You get it, even though you are sitting
fifty feet away from the passenger who sneezed. The air in the
is re-circulated, and it would have made no difference if the passenger
had let it go with a sneeze right into your face.
Even on the ground in a closed space with people sitting in an air-conditioned
area, which as a rule re-circulates seventy-five percent of the
inlet air, there really is no escape from that person who has this
temporary disease sitting anywhere in that closed space.
You’re at risk even in a theater or a movie. These circumstances
make you catch colds, reasons can be imagined or to be remained
After forty-eight hours or so, if you are prone, the classic symptoms
including a running nose, head ache, muscle aches and sometimes
sore throat come, and you always think you had made some mistake
like sitting in a draft or not having your jacket on while watering
From 412 B.C. on, when a viral disease was described by the Greek
physician Hippocrates, man has borne the viral infection with a
considerable measure of self-blame and unjustified guilt. Exposure
to low temperature only speeds the onset of the infection. That
is all it does.
The assembly line concept can wait until it is desperately needed.
For now the individual effort will do and there is no shortness
of anything to achieve invincibility.
And you know, for some reason, by fighting the cold virus year after
year and on time with the method described, in regard to your resistance,
you mutate into a different being. A metamorphosis takes place.
When you don’t fear the cold virus and you are prepared to
welcome it any time, you seem to develop the type of antibody that
makes you immune to catching the strain of virus that brings headaches,
muscle aches and fever. It is always the wet-nose type that comes,
year after year, which doesn’t get anywhere with anyone exercising
I have even better news for you, Tammy, coming at the end of this
letter. So read on.
Regarding a sore throat, age must have some influence, but I haven’t
been bothered with one in the last ten years.
There have been times I had a peculiar sensation in my throat when
swallowing, but it has been so minor that I have either gargled
with salt water or just ignored it.
I believe if the method I’ve described above is exercised
by the whole population of the earth, the breeding ground for the
virus will become so inhospitable that eventually the virus will
die out, will be exterminated just like smallpox, from the surface
of the earth. Vaccination of smallpox with good ending took 50
or so. But for that to happen with cold all this scaremongering
that you should not take a pill or any medicine without consulting
a physician out of the fear of harming yourself must end.
There are minor illnesses with their cure within the range, scope
and know-ledge of many adults, because of their past experiences
with the illness. Only they don’t dare to do anything on
their own because of all the fear that only doctors should recommend
In regard to influenza there is great confusion. There are countless
theories, hypotheses and contradictions among the medical community.
While residing in the U.S., I was once given penicillin shots by
a doctor for influenza. Not that it did me any good at all, but
another doctor, on hearing this, shook his head and conveyed with
his fixed gaze that the other doctor, whom he didn’t know,
must be a crackpot.
Only on one thing in fighting the virus do all doctors agree: Rest.
Outside of that, personal opinion rules, and every advice and prescription
is based on personal deductions. Unfortunately, one has been as
good as the other.
No one really knows why some people don’t catch colds at all.
Year in and year out, some people don’t catch colds and seem
to have permanent immunity – they don’t even catch mild
colds. In the coldest weather most of these people don’t
wear topcoats because they are cumbersome and weighty. Also it
in a real life-and-death crisis, not related to illness, one becomes
immune no matter how prone to catching a cold one has been during
the course of his lifetime.
We have heard of airline crashes on a snow-covered plain or mountain.
Among the survivors, frostbite is frequently reported, but rarely
a case of influenza or a common cold.
I met an Armenian from Soviet Armenia before the Soviet Union dismantled.
Prior to the earthquake in that region, he had acquired an exit
permit to visit his relatives in Iran. He was among a number of
people on the first floor of a government apartment building when
the quake came.
Those on the first floor dashed for the basement just before the
total collapse of the building. For twelve days they were trapped
in the basement. They had food and candles, because a section of
the basement was either a food store or food storage house of some
sort for the residents of the building.
The burly, ruddy-faced Armenian whom I met in the apartment of one
of his relatives in Tehran was not inclined toward exchange of dialogue
or conversation. Brought up in a society where reticence was elemental
to survival, he mostly shook his head or nodded assent, or offered
Glasnost evidently did not seem yet to have put any noticeable impression
on him. Or, perhaps the earthquake was an experience he did not
want to talk about - just like war veterans, reluctant to talk about
their war memories.
I gathered from his relatives that for twelve days he, along with
the others tapped into basement, had had enough to eat. They were
cold, with only the flame of a single candle, lit one after another,
to keep their fingers warm and functioning.
I asked the man, “Did any of you have a cold or influenza
when you were rescued?”
The man was peeling a cucumber. Pausing, and slightly amused, he
placed a peeled skin carefully on platter, and without looking
replied, “When you are faced with death, you don’t
He didn’t say anything more and I didn’t question him
further, because I felt I was straining him.
No thorough and conclusive research has been made as to why we catch
colds at all. After centuries of stereotyped thin-king we have to
drop off trying to find the cause outside of ourselves.
This notion of being “caught in a rain without an umbrella,”
or “having no hat on while walking on the streets in a cold
autumn wind” and so on must be discarded as the reasons for
catching cold. People catch cold and go on to the flu stage right
in the heat of the summer.
Most summer colds come from car air-conditioners, which like nasal
pas-sages provide a suitable place for the virus to sustain itself.
The evaporator, the cold surface of the coil on which the air inside
the car passes and delivers its heat, is always moist with condensation.
It is cool and dark there and moisture mixed with street dust drips
from the coil surfaces.
Remember, the virus does not need human blood to survive. It thrives
in moisture and dust. When the air-conditioner is off and you start
it after several hours, an unhealthy, hot and vapid humid air blasts
out of the outlets first before gradually cooling. This indicates
the presence of humidity. All it takes is one with a cold to sneeze
in a new car and the aerosol droplets spewed out find a nice cool
humid home on the evaporator coil surface of the air-conditioner.