No javascript detected! Our online shopping basket requires javascript. You can also complete your order by phone at 855.9HUNGER
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security. You can also complete your order by phone at 855.9HUNGER

Achoos Your Words Carefully

3 Things You Need to Know about Sneezing

By Molly Mitchell September 10, 2019

You know that feeling when a demon comes flying out of your nose at high velocity? No? Well, that’s what folks used to think that’s what happened when you sneezed. While the demon part is probably only true in a figurative sense, sneezing is easily one of our weirdest and most oddly satisfying bodily functions. And they do expel harmful germs out of your body and potentially spreads them to other people.

With cold season coming up, we’re about to see an uptick in sneezing. Here are a few tips on what to do when you sneeze, how to respond to other people sneezing and what sneezes are even for.  

1.Know Your Sneeze

A public health campaign poster from England during Word War II that says "Coughs and sneezes spread diseases."
A public health campaign poster from England during World War II.

Sneezing is an involuntary response in which our bodies inhale sharply and expel air and other gross particles out of our mouth and nose at high speeds. Just how fast sneezes go is up in the air – traditional wisdom says it’s around 100 mph, while some studies have shown it’s more like 10 mph. One MIT study found that sneeze particles can travel up to a shocking 200 feet ­– though most of them fall within 3 to 6 feet away (still somewhat alarming).

Some say that the origin of the widespread “God bless you” response originated in the days of the plague in Europe, and people then making the connection between sneezing and illness. On the other hand, ancient Greeks saw sneezing as a sign of good health, which make sense as the origin of the response, “Health!” 

Either way, now we know the purpose of the sneeze is to try to cleanse the nasal cavity of potentially harmful stuff that’s gotten in there. Sometimes it can be triggered by irritants, bright lights, infections and other stimuli. Sometimes you can stop it by pinching the bridge of your nose, but most of the time the sneeze is inevitable once it gets started. It’s good to learn to love the sneeze, just remember sharing is not caring in the case of sneezes.

2.Bless the Sneeze of your Neighbor

The painting Christ Blessing ('The Saviour of the World')The half length figure of Christ looking directly out at us with his right hand raised in blessing.
Christ Blessing ('The Saviour of the World'). Many religions, not just Christian, ask for God's blessing after sneezes.

Sneezing is catching… both in the viral sense and in that it has been catching the imagination of people around the globe for thousands of years. While we don’t usually comment on coughs, burps and the like, sneezing requires a response in most cultures, usually having something to do with wishing the sneezer health or blessings.

There are lots of variations of sneeze responses depending on what country or region you’re in, and they often reveal fascinating facts about history and culture.

  • In the U.S. and other English-speaking countries, “God bless you” or just “bless you” is standard.
  • In much of Latin America, there is a sequence of responses based on how many times you sneeze: First sneeze: “Salud!” (health). Second sneeze: “Dinero!” (money).  Third sneeze: “Amor!” (love).
  • Francophile African countries inherited the French response, “To your wishes!,” while Anglophile African countries picked up “Bless you.” Majority Islam countries tend to respond with “Praise!” and many other African countries use some variation of “health!” 
  • Many Asian countries don’t respond to sneezes at all, with a few exceptions. In Vietnam, if a child sneezes one might say “rice with salt.”
  • European responses are usually some version of “bless you” or “health.” If you’re a little old-fashioned and romantic, France is the place for you. Their three responses to consecutive sneezes: “To your wishes,” “To your loves,” and finally, “May they last forever.”

3.Sneeze Like a Vampire

The Count from Sesame Street covers his mouth with his cape.
Zero! The number of germs escaping The Count's elbow!

When you feel a sneeze coming on and you can’t stop it, channel your inner Dracula and draw that imaginary cloak across your face to sneeze into the crook of your arm. This will stop germs from spreading and make other people around you safer. Sneezing into your hands is better than nothing, but it’s pretty gross and still spreads germs through touch.

Bonus: Don’t forget to get your flu shot to protect yourself and others from rogue sneezes.

The more you look into sneezing, the more interesting it gets. If you want to learn more, check out the informative and funny sneezing episode of Sawbones, a podcast about medicine and medical history.

Free Download

You only need to enter this information once to download digital resources.

Basket Summary

edit
Your gift will be matched!

{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle }}

Qty: {{ product.quantity }} @ {{ product.price | currency }} Qty: {{ product.quantity }} @ FREE Monthly
{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }} Free

Eligible for Gift Card funds

No products in cart.

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }}
Basket Total {{ cartProductsTotalAmount | currency }}
Gift Card Applied {{ -giftCardAmountApplied | currency }}
Subtotal {{ cartSubTotal | currency }}
Shipping Cost {{ orderShippingCost | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Tax Cost {{ orderTax | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Total {{ cartTotal | currency }} Monthly Total {{ cartSubscriptionTotal | currency }}

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

edit

Billing Address

{{ billingAddress.first_name }} {{ billingAddress.last_name }} {{ billingAddress.address_1 }} {{ billingAddress.address_2 }} {{ billingAddress.city }}, {{ billingAddress.state }} {{ billingAddress.zip }} {{ billingAddress.country }}

Company

{{ billingAddress.company }}

Shipping Address

{{ shippingAddress.first_name }} {{ shippingAddress.last_name }} {{ shippingAddress.address_1 }} {{ shippingAddress.address_2 }} {{ shippingAddress.city }}, {{ shippingAddress.state }} {{ shippingAddress.zip }} {{ shippingAddress.country }}
edit

Shipping Method

{{ orderShippingOption ? orderShippingOption.description : ""}}

Gift Card Remaining: {{ giftCardTotal | currency }}

Your Gift Card is now active. You can purchase Gift Card-eligible items indicated with  icon.

Basket Summary

Step 1 of 2 Step 1 of 3 Step 1 of 4 Step 1 of 1
Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Get your free Honor Cards after checkout.
Your gift will be matched!
Your basket has been updated.
The following item(s) are now sold-out or unavailable and have been removed from your cart:
-{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle}} ({{ product.quantity}})
Gift Card balances can be used for this product

{{ product.title }} {{ product.subTitle }} To: {{ product.giftCardRecipientName }} From: {{ product.giftCardSenderPrint }} Email: {{ product.giftCardRecipientEmail }} Delivery: {{ product.giftCardDeliveryDate }} Message: {{ product.giftCardMessage | truncate '200' }} Activation Code: {{ product.giftCardCode }}
Details Delivery: {{ product.additional_info['deliveryDate'] }} Message: {{ product.additional_info['personalMessage'] | truncate '200' }} Line One: {{ product.additional_info['smallBrick__lineOne']}} Line Two: {{ product.additional_info['smallBrick__lineTwo']}} Line Three: {{ product.additional_info['smallBrick__lineThree']}} Line One: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__lineOne']}} Line Two: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__lineTwo']}} Line Three: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__lineThree']}} Line Four: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__lineFour']}} Line Five: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__lineFive']}} Line Six: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__lineSix']}} Brick 1 Line One: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__1of3__lineOne']}} Line Two: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__1of3__lineTwo']}} Line Three: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__1of3__lineThree']}} Line Four: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__1of3__lineFour']}} Line Five: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__1of3__lineFive']}} Line Six: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__1of3__lineSix']}} Brick 2 Line One: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__2of3__lineOne']}} Line Two: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__2of3__lineTwo']}} Line Three: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__2of3__lineThree']}} Line Four: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__2of3__lineFour']}} Line Five: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__2of3__lineFive']}} Line Six: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__2of3__lineSix']}} Brick 3 Line One: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__3of3__lineOne']}} Line Two: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__3of3__lineTwo']}} Line Three: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__3of3__lineThree']}} Line Four: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__3of3__lineFor']}} Line Five: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__3of3__lineFive']}} Line Six: {{ product.additional_info['largeBrick__3of3__lineSix']}}
1 {{prods["title"]}}

{{ (product.quantity * product.price) | currency }}/month
You've reached the maximum number of products for this item.
You've reached the maximum number of products for this item.
${{ product.price || product.fullPrice}}
$ {{ product.price }} Free
Remove
After checkout, you can create and customize an honor card by clicking the link on the confirmation page.

Gift Message

Personalize your message up to 5 lines in length.

Preview

heifer.org
Basket Total {{ cartProductsTotalAmount | currency }}
Gift Card Applied {{ -giftCardAmountApplied | currency }}
Subtotal {{ cartSubTotal | currency }}
Monthly Subtotal {{ cartSubscriptionTotal | currency }}
It's not a hand out. It's a hand up.

For maximum impact, try adding a few items to your basket.

Browse The Gift Catalog
Secured Checkout

Increase Your Impact with a Donation Visit the Gift Catalog

Make an even bigger impact with a donation from our Gift Catalog

Responsibly-Sourced, Artisan-Friendly Gifts Shop the Marketplace

Shop the Marketplace for responsibly-sourced, artisan-friendly gifts
Secured Checkout
Continue Shopping
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 2 Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 4
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted
All major credit cards accepted
Shipping Information

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Shipping Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 4
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted
All major credit cards accepted
Billing Information
Enter your company name to see if your employer will match your gift.

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Billing Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 3 Step 2 of 4
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted
All major credit cards accepted
Billing Information
Enter your company name to see if your employer will match your gift.

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Billing Address
Shipping Information

If you have received a gift catalog in the mail please enter the highlighted code that begins with a "D" or a "P" in the source code box below. If you have not received a Heifer Gift Catalog please leave the source code blank.

Shipping Address
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary

{{ cartCheckoutPath[2].title }}

Step 3 of 3 Step 3 of 3 Step 3 of 4 Select shipping method. Orders after 12:00 PM CST will be shipped the next business day. Orders on Saturday or Sunday will be shipped the next business day.
{{shippingOption.description}} ${{shippingOption.shippingCost}}
Secured Checkout
Secured Checkout
Edit Basket Summary Edit {{ cartCheckoutPath[1].title }}

Payment Information

Step 3 of 3 Step 3 of 3 Step 4 of 4
All major credit cards and Paypal accepted
All major credit cards accepted

Payment Summary

Additional Impact {{ processingFee | currency }}
Basket Total {{ cartProductsTotalAmount | currency }}
Gift Card Applied {{ -giftCardAmountApplied | currency }}
Subtotal {{ cartSubTotal | currency }}
Shipping Cost {{ orderShippingCost | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Tax Cost {{ orderTax | currency }} NOT YET CALCULATED Total {{ cartTotal | currency }} Monthly Total {{ cartSubscriptionTotal | currency }}
Pay By Credit Card
Pay with
Pay with
We were not able to process your request. Please try again or contact Donor Services at 855.9HUNGER (855.948.6437).
Secured Checkout