The leaves are gold and russet (if they are not all in bags), the pungent smoke rises (if there is anything to burn), the multitudes (if they can) will be carrying rosy noses in the brisk wind, and the viruses (which certainly can) will start their nefarious work. We don't know who gets the first microorganism. We can only surmise that some poor beggar is feeling a little seedy, his speech foggy, and his nares moist. Kissing his wife, he goes to work amongst his unsuspecting fellows, and the fat is in the fire—a pyramid of misery.
Viral illness is one kind of torture for many patients. Apparently, the female suffers more. The British Medical Journal1 recounts an investigation in which unselected and unbiased men and women were questioned one year after infectious mononucleosis as to their depression and anxiety at that time. The women were affected but not
Ricketts HT. Autumn. JAMA. 1976;236(21):2433. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270220053041
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