Should you still at­tend a din­ner party if you have a cold?

Hong Kong Tatler - - The Great Debate -

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

james louey

Car­men lee

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