Talk:2306: Common Cold

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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I saw a thing reshared some time last month claiming that after the hand-sanitizer-and-masks outbreak in Japan, some regions were recording record low numbers of influenza hospitalisations for this time of year. Thought that would be nice; but could only find unsourced claims. Would be nice to think there really was that kind of silver lining. Angel (talk) 23:30, 13 May 2020 (UTC)

Since people are really staying away from each other, the only way flu and common cold can spread has also been eliminated. So of course the rate has dropped. But yes, would be nice to see some citations. --Kynde (talk) 12:13, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
Found this Coronavirus isolation measures are reducing all flu-like diseases, not just COVID-19.--Kynde (talk) 12:15, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
And this is more up to date: Coronavirus: Doctors see huge drop in flu, common cold, diarrhoea and conjunctivitis cases since circuit breaker measures. --Kynde (talk) 12:16, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
While this SEEMS good news, I have wondered for a while now if, by eliminating harmless cold viruses that our immune systems are more or less accustomed to as "collateral damage", we might not accidentally open up new ecological niches, which then get occupied by MORE new pathogens that our immune systems are NOT accustomed to. So, it may actually a good idea to consider that deal.... -- 13:50, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
I don't think cold viruses are thought to be part of healthy gut flora (or gut fauna), but the "hygiene hypothesis" posits that failure to properly seed the microbiome in early childhood (i.e. not enough dirt in life) may lead to increased prevalence of allergies and other autoimmune disorders, because (perhaps) the immune system is under-exercised and so some of its regulatory mechanisms are under-developed. --NotaBene (talk) 15:02, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
Stepping up the speculativeness up a notch, an immune systeme permanently on the alert by flu might be good against cancer. That said, maybe the poor virii should just try to look more cute? 08:09, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
By social distancing, we are not harming cold viruses more than anything else ; what we are doing is basically shrinking the ecological niche containing it. So, no ... unless we will be so good in it we really eliminate cold viruses and when we do, we will then stop social distancing and grow the ecological niche again. -- Hkmaly (talk) 22:16, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

According to Taiwan National Infectious Disease Statistics System, the number of severe influenza cases in Taiwan was 109 on week 1 of 2020, then drop to zero since March. 04:54, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

Based on the railroad's Twitter feed which announces when service is suspended because someone got hit by a train, it seems that deaths from being hit by trains are down where I live. I'd expect some reduction in accidental deaths due to fewer trains per day running. However, the reduction in deaths is greater than the reduction in train service, so that's not the full explanation, especially since most of the deaths were suicides. 05:27, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

Has the general rate of suicide changed? Barmar (talk) 16:35, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
In Finland the sucide rate has been up 15% this spring.

Was this comic posted a day late? 11:36, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

No. But the DGBRt bot that uploads the comic is in the wrong time zone and there it was May 14th. But in the archive on xkcd it is listed as a May 13 release. I have corrected the wrong date. This has happened with two comics now over the last few releases. --Kynde (talk) 12:11, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

Current transcript indicates he is shouting the "no" in the last frame. I read this significantly more as an extremely forceful spoken word, not so much "THIS IS SPARTA!" OhFFS (talk) 16:04, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

Agree. Fixed. -boB (talk) 21:21, 14 May 2020 (UTC)


In the end, the only way to eliminate it *finally,* for good, is either almost everyone has immunity, or social distancing, contact tracing and similar measures. No matter how difficult. If immunity doesn't last long, then you've got a permanent problem unless social distancing can be maintained INDEFINITELY. And I want to point out that the problem becomes not just permanent but gains the potential to kill faster than people can breed. 10:26, 15 May 2020 (UTC)