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To Blow, or Not To Blow?

by lisab
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DaveC426913
#19
Feb5-12, 10:30 PM
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Quote Quote by mr. vodka View Post
I was simply talking about having to blow your nose when it is cold, for example.
I know. But mucus, by its nature, harbours germs (that's part of its job). And the act of blowing both aerosolizes these droplets and coats your hands in them.
nonequilibrium
#20
Feb5-12, 11:26 PM
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I figured that is what you ultimately meant, but to worry about that facet of it seems a bit extreme, no? At that point you can wonder if the extra times it requires you to wash your hands cannot have a worse influence than what you're trying to prevent (just as I try to avoid gettings cold, I try to avoid getting dried out hands). I think it's an understandable habit to have, if you have it, but I don't think it's one of those things you can sensibly expect other people to do. Seems a bit much.
Danger
#21
Feb5-12, 11:30 PM
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Quote Quote by Moonbear View Post
We have at least the US and Canada represented in this thread.
I'm one of the two resident Canuks that I know of.
ThomasT
#22
Feb5-12, 11:55 PM
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Quote Quote by lisab View Post
OK y'all, getcher minds out of the gutter!

I made an observation recently and I'd like to know if it's an anomaly. It's about nose blowing. I see only older people blow their noses in public. I wonder if this is a true generational difference.

So I want to know: Has anyone else noticed this? And, do you blow your nose in public, and roughly how old are you?

Me - late 40s, and if I can at all avoid it, I do not blow my nose in public. For one, I think it's icky, and for two, since I'll need to wash my hands afterward anyway I figure it's best to go to the washroom.

I think it's especially unpleasant when people do it in restaurants .
I'm 64 and lucky I guess in that I don't blow my nose, at all, except when I have a cold, which is maybe once a year. I don't think people should blow their noses in public. If I do happen to go out in public when sick, then if I absolutely positively feel compelled to blow my nose, then I go somewhere relatively private, like a restroom, and do it ... and then wash my hands. People who blow their noses in public should be confronted and criticized for that, imho. It's disgusting, unnecessary, thoughtless and disrespectful.
nonequilibrium
#23
Feb6-12, 12:00 AM
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People who blow their noses in public should be confronted and criticized for that, imho. It's disgusting, unnecessary, thoughtless and disrespectful.
Again, I'm utterly shocked to read such a convinced statement of a view I had never encountered before. Can people also list what country they are from? I'm curious whether West-European countries also agree.
Danger
#24
Feb6-12, 01:09 AM
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Quote Quote by mr. vodka View Post
Again, I'm utterly shocked to read such a convinced statement of a view I had never encountered before. Can people also list what country they are from? I'm curious whether West-European countries also agree.
It's probably a purely cultural thing. Same thing as the fact that most North Americans find leg, armpit, and facial hair disgusting on a woman, whereas our observations indicate that such are common and accepted in Europe. It's a matter of what you grow up with. My father carried a linen hanky, but that was socially proper to him because he was born in 1901.
Monique
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Feb6-12, 01:20 AM
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Quote Quote by mr. vodka View Post
But is it a custom that depends on countries? Is it custom in the US and Canada to wash your hands afterwards? And has it "always" been, or is it very recent?
I remember that when I was living in the US 10 yrs ago there were campaigns about sneezing and washing your hands. People were encouraged to sneeze in their elbow pit and sing a song while washing the hands. I don't remember what triggered the campaigns, some sort of perceived biohazard threat. Probably some bird flu.

Quote Quote by mr. vodka View Post
Again, I'm utterly shocked to read such a convinced statement of a view I had never encountered before. Can people also list what country they are from? I'm curious whether West-European countries also agree.
I'm West-European and I think it is disgusting to blow a nose in public. Sometimes I'm jealous though, of the people who don't appear to care and alleviate themselves in public without shame.

I always hold my breath when someone sneezes nearby, are there any other people who do that?
ThomasT
#26
Feb6-12, 01:40 AM
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Quote Quote by Danger View Post
It's probably a purely cultural thing. Same thing as the fact that most North Americans find leg, armpit, and facial hair disgusting on a woman, whereas our observations indicate that such are common and accepted in Europe. It's a matter of what you grow up with. My father carried a linen hanky, but that was socially proper to him because he was born in 1901.
I think that, given what we've learned, holding public nose-blowing to be disgusting is a view that should transcend culture. Anyway, it's certainly not the same as leg, armpit or facial hair on a woman.
ThomasT
#27
Feb6-12, 01:47 AM
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Quote Quote by Monique View Post
I always hold my breath when someone sneezes nearby, are there any other people who do that?
Yes, and if I notice that they didn't make an effort to muffle the sneeze or direct it away from others, then I confront them with the obvious antisociality of their behavior. The same goes for people who litter in my neighborhood. If I catch them doing it, then I call them out for it. So far, everybody has apologized.
Danger
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Feb6-12, 02:11 AM
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Quote Quote by ThomasT View Post
Anyway, it's certainly not the same as leg, armpit or facial hair on a woman.
Are you sure? Check into the archives about the Romanian armpit hair trap from about 10 years ago...
Pythagorean
#29
Feb6-12, 04:47 AM
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Needs more demographics! In Alaska, we don't care.

I'm not really afraid of germs, myself. I figure Its good to keep your virus definitions updated.
Ryan_m_b
#30
Feb6-12, 04:50 AM
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I'm 22, from the UK and I blow my nose in public. Many of my peers do as well, quite often I can rely on a girl friend to have a packet of tissues in her handbag. Also regarding washing hands afterwards I do that when possible but can usually rely on those same girls to have a bottle of alcohol rub soap as well.

I don't think it's strange at all to sneeze in public, so long as you cover your mouth with ideally a tissue or otherwise a hand (that you wash as soon as possible).
Dadface
#31
Feb6-12, 04:57 AM
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Sixty five and of the opinion that when you've got to blow you've got to blow.I do so with gusto and pride and sometimes use a tissue.
Danger
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Feb6-12, 07:41 AM
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Moonbear
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Feb6-12, 08:15 AM
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Quote Quote by mr. vodka View Post
I figured that is what you ultimately meant, but to worry about that facet of it seems a bit extreme, no? At that point you can wonder if the extra times it requires you to wash your hands cannot have a worse influence than what you're trying to prevent (just as I try to avoid gettings cold, I try to avoid getting dried out hands). I think it's an understandable habit to have, if you have it, but I don't think it's one of those things you can sensibly expect other people to do. Seems a bit much.
To me it's the same as washing you hands after using the toilet. The job of nasal mucus is to trap dust and germs before they get all the way to your lungs, so if you need to blow your nose, you're expelling trapped germs. If you aren't sick, you shouldn't need to blow your nose so frequently that you'd be drying your hands from handwashing an extra time or two a day (and if you excuse yourself to the restroom, might as well take care of other business while there, but just need to handwash once for the trip). If you are sick and need to blow your nose frequently, you're definitely sharing bad germs. Of course, I really wish sick people would just stay home instead of spreading germs when they know they are contagious.
skeptic2
#34
Feb6-12, 08:22 AM
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It seems to me that just raising the issue indicates how effete our society is becoming.
Ryan_m_b
#35
Feb6-12, 08:28 AM
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Quote Quote by skeptic2 View Post
It seems to me that just raising the issue indicates how effete our society is becoming.
I think it is more of an example of the ever increasing awareness and practice of good hygiene. The biggest issue with blowing one's nose is if you have the facilities available to wash your hands. If not then you could spread pathogens to others from what you touch. Personally I deplore having to touch handholds on buses/trains, door handles in public toilets, buttons in lifts etc without gloves. I think this stems from my MSc that was based in a hospital, I was on the 9th floor and would regularly see people in the lifts (some of whom were obviously sick) cough and splutter over their hands before pressing the button to their floor or using a door handle.

I think this video from 1945 sums it up best for me
Evo
#36
Feb6-12, 08:37 AM
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I have terrible allergies and wouldn't be able to leave the house if I couldn't sneeze or blow my nose in public. I always carry tissues and I always turn my head away from people, if it's just blowing my nose, I will attempt to go away from people first. But sometimes a sneeze often gives no more than a second's warning, barely time to turn my head. And yes I have hand sanitizer, and the grocery store gives out free sanitizing cloths to wipe clean the grocery cart handles, which I think is brilliant.


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