Coughing. Everyone does it, some more than others. Smokers, for example, or people who are sick. I was reading the Toronto Symphony Orchestra‘s concert calendar and ended up on the FAQ page. This section is meant to address any confusion you might have regarding how to dress, when to clap or what to do if you find yourself the victim of a coughing fit during a performance:
What if I need to cough?
Everyone gets the urge to cough now and then, but be prepared: if you are recovering from a cold, then take some cough medicine in advance and bring unwrapped candy or lozenges with you. No matter how quiet you try to be, unwrapping candy or lozenges is always heard! Try to bury your cough in a loud passage of music. If this is impossible and you begin to cough, then it is perfectly acceptable and preferable to quietly exit the concert hall. The ushers will tell you when you are able to re-enter the auditorium.
I wonder how they determine that you’re ready to go back to your seat. Do they wait until you haven’t coughed for one minute, or have procured some cough drops at the nearest convenience store?
I started to think about how people cough, and I just don’t understand what balling your hand up into a fist is supposed to accomplish. If anything, all your fist does is deflect your germs in all directions away from your face. When people sneeze, they fully cover their mouths with an open hand or a sleeve. So why don’t we do that when we cough?
Just a thought…