Response to a cough


Photographer: James Gathany

2009 Brian Judd This 2009 photograph captured a sneeze in progress, revealing the plume of salivary droplets as they are expelled in a large cone-shaped array from this man’s open mouth, thereby, dramatically illustrating the reason one needs to cover hios/her mouth when coughing, or sneezing, in order to protect others from germ exposure. How Germs Spread

Illnesses like the flu (influenza) and colds are caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. The flu and colds usually spread from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

How to Help Stop the Spread of Germs

Take care to:

– Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough

– Clean your hands often

– Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

– Stay home when you are sick and check with a health care provider when needed

– Practice other good health habits.

Sofi Zeman, Co-Features Editor

     Anyone and everyone who has ever heard a person cough has experienced the awkwardness of not knowing what to do. For decades, people have been troubled with this burning question: What do you say to a person when they cough?

    A common course of action is to ignore the cough and pretend it didn’t happen. But, it always feels a little uncomfortable to stand by while a friend or family member hacks up half of a lung.

     “If a person coughs, I don’t usually say anything. I feel a little rude but I don’t know what to say,” said Brinley Hefty (‘19) .

   Some people often resort to saying “bless you.” But, for some reason it just doesn’t sound right to most people. It makes sense to say that to a sneeze. There are many different things to say to a person who sneezes, but why not a cougher?

     “A cough and a sneeze are basically the same thing, just different sounds. It doesn’t make sense that they aren’t treated the same way,” said Caleb Zeman (‘19) .

     The answers to these questions vary depending on who is asking it. Everyone has their own opinion on this controversial topic. But, a person should feel free to say whatever they’re most comfortable with. If a person says “bless you,” or nothing or even makes up their own thing to say, they should feel free to do so. At the end of the day, it is just a cough.