Please Cover That Sneeze


To help you Mind Your Body after age 45, here is the latest in health news from the past week.

“Ah-choo!” And splat!—someone nearby sneezes and their [you name the word] lands on you, the unwilling recipient. New research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds that such events are actually “multiphase turbulent buoyant clouds with suspended droplets of various sizes.” The clouds keep droplets in the air for longer than we’ve previously thought. Such action also means that “ventilation systems may be more prone to transmitting potentially infectious particles than had been suspected,” according to an MIT news release.

So, you knew this was coming: Please, oh please, cover your mouth and nose quickly. The crook of your elbow works as a great D.I.Y. way to do that.

Next, I write a lot about blood pressure here because hypertension affects approximately 67 million Americans. A Spanish study finds that people who are low-worriers, meaning they worry less, have higher blood pressure than those who worry more. I find this surprising, since I’d “assume” that worrying would raise bp—speaking from personal experience only.

When people joke that someone is “OCD,” they’re talking about obsessive-compulsive disorder. Joking about any mental disorder is never funny, since as many as three million adults may have intrusive thoughts that produce anxiety (obsessions), repetitive behaviors that are engaged in to reduce anxiety (compulsions), or a combination of both.

A new Canadian report says shows that 94 percent of us experience unwanted, intrusive thoughts, images and/or impulses. “We’re more similar than we are different,” says co-author and Concordia University psychology professor Adam Radomsky in a press release. “People with OCD and related problems are very much like everyone else.”

Hopefully, that relieves worries for some of us. Now go have a worry-free, sneeze-free weekend!

Read how actor and producer Danny Trejo works in so many movies and still stars in his own good-health story »