Should you still attend a dinner party if you have a cold?
If it is merely
a cold—no fever—and you feel well enough, you ought to attend. From the host’s point of view, last-minute cancellations are a nightmare because dinner parties, especially intimate ones, are always carefully planned in terms of guests. If they are one person short, then it often impacts the mood, conversation, seating arrangements and more. Cancelling at the last minute leaves the host no time to find anyone else. In this day and age, commitment is becoming a lost art. It has become the norm to not turn up due to a minor excuse. I’m not saying being ill is a small matter, but, 20 years ago, no one would have considered cancelling their attendance over something as trifling as a runny nose. Obviously, one should be careful and considerate towards other guests— no one wants to be embraced by a bag of germs. Abstaining from air kisses, hugs and handshakes should keep all parties happy, and won’t be seen as rude if followed up with a simple explanation. Who knows—all the laughter and enjoyment of the evening may even help your body beat the cold.
Hostess with the mostest Carmen Lee is a full-time mother and homemaker
If a cold
has developed into a headache or you’re sneezing, then you should cancel. The destructive power of communicable viruses is not to be underestimated. To quote an extreme case, the first patient that brought Mers to Hong Kong from South Korea had a slight temperature and flu-like symptoms. Let’s say he’d been invited to a dinner party with 500 other VIPS and dignitaries. They would all be spending an extended after-party at the quarantine detention centre. In March, I had a flu that started as a dry throat and blocked sinuses, but I didn’t think much of it and continued to attend parties. I didn’t stay home to rest and I ended up with laryngitis. My doctor prescribed antibiotics and I couldn’t speak for a week, but after a few days of rest, I went out again and the infection went deeper into my respiratory tract. I developed a serious cough and it took another two weeks to get better. The point is that you should rest until fully recovered before going out, not just for the consideration of others, but for the further damage you can do to your health. There will always be another party— missing one or two doesn’t mean much.
James Louey is commercial director of the Kowloon Motor Bus Company