Daily Kent Stater

Don’t fall into traps of common cold myths

Dear Editor:

On March 1, a blustery day, while being imbued by the cold at a campus bus stop, I commented to my friend Paul, “I think I’m immune to the common cold.” Then, on the bus, I read Leslie Arntz’s column “’Pretty’ girls are quite gross,” which is about contamination and the common cold, in which she identified all the germs you can find on a computer keyboard that come from a toilet seat, which made me have recurring, alarming thoughts, all of which reminded me how my mother was profoundly imbued with the mistaken notion, “Put a hat on or you’ll catch a cold,” and how Uncle Louie wore a string of garlic around his neck to ward one off, which warded off other people who carried cold germs, which explains why old wives’ tales are believed to be true, which reminded me that OCD makes people have recurring, alarming thoughts about contamination and to perform rituals like excessive hand washing, which is what Leslie said to do in her column, which I’m not doing because I know most colds are caught in the months that most fresh oysters are eaten and coughed up onto hankies, which is “quite gross” to quote Leslie, which makes me think that eating less fresh oysters is why I’m immune, and a cold can’t be caught from a toilet seat, as Leslie thinks.

John Reinier


Christians should learn how to accept diversity

Dear Editor:

With regards to the Feb. 22 column headlined, “I Am Biased, But So Are You,” by Leslie Arntz:

I have found it quite difficult to understand the resurgence of accusationary McCarthyism among the constituents of present day right-wing politics in the United States. Here, I take particular interest in the example of Ms. Arntz, who apparently more or less counts herself among one of the thousands of Christian sects established throughout the United States. Ironically, Arntz seems to be expressing an irrational fear that a single belief system, quite contrary to her own, is on the verge of establishing itself as the supreme mindset of the land. This, even while Christianity, in all of its countless variations, continues to thrive and even flourish here.

True to classic McCarthyite form, Arntz darts forth to lambaste Humanism, as if it were some kind of “arch-nemesis” amalgamation of all that is evil on Earth. Humanism, it seems, poses some kind of imminent threat to her own personal pretense of a singular, prevailing view of mankind’s origins and destiny. As one who also considers himself a Christian and student of the teachings of Jesus Christ, I somehow find myself at a loss to understand Ms. Arntz’s apparent delusions and paranoia that her beliefs cannot and will not withstand the presence of diversity. I do not share her fears or misunderstandings about Humanism and have, in fact, taken enough time to learn and understand that it is not the “anti-Christian” threat of which she is so fearful.

Perhaps it might better serve Arntz in the future to gather more of the facts first before making bold and untrue assertions that, as a journalist, cause her to appear irresponsible and seriously tarnish her credibility, as well as the credibility of the journalistic institutions for which she writes. It might also help Ms. Arntz to seriously review and study the tenants of her own faith and their origins, lest she continue to walk further down the troubled path of a certain style of individual, for which Christ himself issued his greatest concerns.

John E. Stegall Jr.

Akron, Ohio