Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sneezing correctly

During the recent swine flu pandemic there were a number of public health awareness measures aimed at getting people to sneeze a little more carefully. Many of these were provoked by a New Zealand study that showed that as few as 5% of people sneeze 'correctly' (ie cover both mouth and nose whether with their hand, a tissue or their sleeve). The vampire cough became a popular meme.

This is only the latest in a long running series of campaigns to prevent people spreading germs. Until recently the concern was not for just colds and flu but also for the far more dangerous Tuberculosis. During the second world war these campaigns were intensive due to the importance of maintaining production and reducing absenteeism due to sickness. Although the posters have been around for years and have been reproduced in many books the old public service films are also now increasingly available online and are BRILLIANT.

Remember this was an era before television so most of the audience would watch these films at the cinema which would have had a huge attendance.

There's so much to like about this film. I love how the 'prankster' who kicks a guy headfirst into a river is considered 'pretty harmless'.

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