Busting Chickenpox Myths
Sitting in my room, bedridden due to chickenpox makes me wonder about all the different myths associated with this particular disease. I cannot understand why it can’t be treated like any other normal disease?
I understand it is contagious but well then “eye flu” is contagious too, why aren’t myths associated with that ? Anyway, first of all, I want to tell you chicken pox is a disease cause by varicella zoster virus commonly caused in children up to age 12 (I am 20 by the way 😀 ). Common symptoms are fever and red marks but I didn’t have any of them in the starting, instead, I had a lot of body pain and blisters. So, if you or your kid faces any of these symptoms, you should definitely rush to see the doctor.
In Hindu religion it is believed that someone suffers from chicken pox when ‘Mata’ enters our body and she stays there till the next 10-15 days . As much as I believe in God and Kaali Ma, I refuse to believe in this. If “Mata” really enters our body, then why are we set to be in solitude instead of being around everybody ? My maid told me this Mata story by the way.
Lets us just take these myths one by one:
- Do not take medicines, they don’t do anything. This I think was believed by our ancestors because medicines even now cannot help reducing the amount of blisters you get. There is a certain time span which the body follows and the medicines cannot help you with that, but they can certainly help reduce the irritation and fever. Even if you don’t take medicines, your chickenpox will get cured, but it will probably take more days and might leave more scars.
- Remain in solitude, confined to one room. This I feel was basically said because it’s a very contagious disease, so its beneficial for the people not to go around the patient much plus its also good for the patient, since people coming from outside bring a lot of germs with them.
- Stay away from girls who are on their menstrual cycle. This is one myth I completely disagree with, this myth is probably derived from the same myth that doesn’t allow women undergoing their menstrual cycle to enter the temples.
- Do not take bath for the first one week – The first one week is when the red bumps appear on the body and I think our ancestors advised not to take bath basically because of the fear of scrubbing the blisters. There is nothing wrong with bathing though, my doctor told me I could, though its another thing that my mother didn’t let me.
- Before first bath, oil blessed by ‘Mata’ to be used all over body. I am not trying to mock our traditions, I belong to a typical Brahmin family but just sometimes, things get a little over the top. So, according to this myth, mother of the patient has to take oil to Mata’s temple, wish for the wellness of her child and then the patient uses it all over the body before the bath . As much as I tried to run from it, my mom made sure I did this. I personally didn’t feel any difference by it, I still rely on the lotions given by my doctor though my mother believes, it helps in preventing scars. I will keep you guys updated about this one 😀
- First bath after a week should be taken with neem water. This was probably done because neem has anti-bacterial properties, but we don’t need to do that now, we have Dettol with us, isn’t that easier and less stinky ? 😉
- We don’t get chickenpox on feet, because ‘Mata’ wouldn’t touch our feet, I got 3 red bumps on my left feet right now, need I say more ?
So, these were a few myths that I had to face, did you or your kid ever get chickenpox ? Are there some other myths you have heard ? Please do share.
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