Friday, December 15, 2017

Their noses

Our air stream is fundamental.  The big four are heart (blood), lungs (air), kidneys (filtration of liquid) and liver (filtration and needed chemicals).  Food, water, heat are all needed but the most continuous need is air. 

I am listening to "The Well-Dressed Ape: A Natural History of Myself" by Hannah Holmes.  She discusses similarities and differences between humans and other animals.  What kills humans?  The bigger predators are somewhat under control but the microscopic ones do damage.  She writes:

The common cold, while not deadly enough to qualify as a predator, manipulates its host into releasing a river of mucus from the nose. The human can be relied on to wipe this mucus with its hands. When those hands contact the nose or mouth of another human, or even when they touch an object another human will touch, the virus lurking in the goo slithers into its next host. It's another savvy strategy.

Holmes, Hannah. The Well-Dressed Ape: A Natural History of Myself (Kindle Locations 4895-4898). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

In this season, we need heat.  We want heat and we know how to have it.  But we still need air, all the time.  We heat the air and that increases its thirst for moisture.  Our noses have the job of transmitting the air into the lovely lungs. Sure, we can breathe through our mouths and when we need fast, large gulps of air, we do.  But the nose is the thing.  Then, on top of the other problems, we have micro organisms trying to get us to use our wonderful hands to spread them around to other victims.  

It is unfair and sneaky and I for one, object.  My nose doctor suggested a little petroleum jelly inside the nose to help keeps things there moist and convenient.  I never got around to trying it.  Recently, Lynn introduced me to a new product.

It says on the bottle of K-Y type of lubricant that it is for "intimacy".  That is a code word the copy authors used for sexual intercourse but the consistency is also just right for oiling the inside of nostrils.  A different kind of intimacy and one I relate to with each breath.

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