Let me start out by saying that I respect everyone’s rights to believe as they wish about anything and everything. (With that kind of disclaimer, you know there’s a but….. coming, right?) But, I have been highly intrigued recently with certain believes that I have come across, here in Morocco, regarding what will make you sick.
First, my son read a story in his Arabic text book that told of a little boy who exercised and got sweaty, then went and took a cool shower. After he took the shower, he got sick, because (according to the story) the went from being too hot to too cold too quickly.
Then, my son had an allergic reaction at school. He has a history of food allergies and they were cooking at school, so we believed that he reacted to something he ate, or at least some pollen in the air if not that. No, his teacher told us, his eyes puffed up because it’s hot outside and the heat will cause you to get sick.
Lastly, in my class, we were trying on outfits for our International Day presentation. The little girl whose turn it was had on 5 shirts (My students often dress in many layers, especially in the winter, as there is no central heat in most buildings in Morocco, but this occurred in early spring.) I tried to get her to take off a few layers, so that she could try on her dress on top of only her bottom two layers, and she told me should would absolutely get sick if her skin got goose bumps.
Now, I am a person who believes that only bacteria and viruses can get you sick. I do think that things like extreme heat, extreme cold or extreme stress can intensify the effect that bacteria and/or viruses have on your body, but I do not believe that these elements on their own generally make people sick, unless they are extreme (frost bite, sun poisoning etc.). It has been interesting for me to come across these other view points, and a good reminder to me that everyone does not think as I do. In our classrooms, we often have children who come to use with many different view points on many different topics – including what makes them sick, so it is good to be aware of those points of view, even if we don’t agree with them.