Germs are real. Quite true. The way people react to a person infected by germs or how a person feels about getting germy—well, that’s a social construction of sickness.
I read a book on the social construction of the sickness of cancer and how if you look closely at the language used to describe this sickness, it seems to imply that people who get cancer are getting what they deserve. Cancer as punishment for something one did, rather than, hell, just getting cancer.
Another book writes about the social construction of insanity, how in the middle ages the insane just roamed the population. Maybe people threw rocks at them or something but they weren’t considered sick. Come the 18th century, and suddenly they start locking up the insane and treating them like sick people. Think Bedlam—one of the first insane asylums.
And then those people, that Jack speaks of, who think being sick is all in a person’s head, as if they are lunatics who are imaging that they are sick, and if they just stopped imagining they were sick, then they wouldn’t be sick, as if not imagining snot running out of your nose would make the snot go away.
And then there’s being sick in the head. As in nuts, insane, or simply depressed. As far as I can remember in my particular branch of the Tingle family being sick in the head was simply not possible. If you were sick in the head, something was wrong with you morally or ethically.
If you were sick in the head, you were just faking it and you should be as ashamed of yourself and just crawl in a hole or something—because you were so utterly vile. Suck it up! Suck it up! What the hell does that mean?
I do think there is something called psychosomatic illness. But this doesn’t mean you want to be sick; it means that deep down there in the unconscious you have a hell of a lot of conflict about something, some inner pain, that might actually affect the immune system and so you get sick. After all we are constantly swimming with germs, and if the system goes down they get in.
So sickness sometimes can be a sign, as in, hey, dude, you are really really stressed out. I made a joke some time back, “The Tingle idea of a vacation is getting sick.”
I have never heard of a salt sea wash. I will check it out.
I don’t know if any of this makes sense. I still got that cold and am hung over from Nyquil.