Out of Sickness, Health

The Angel’s Kiss

When I was a kid I lived in India. While living there we had to boil our water. In India, there were really only two drinks that I could drink with any degree of safety outside of our home. They were hot tea (because it was boiled) and Coca Cola.

When you’re nine years old, this is a pretty good gig.

I would play with the other kids and run around outside all day. If you’ve ever been to India, you’d know that it’s a hundred and ten degrees with 80% humidity, and after all that running you get really thirsty. So, one day after running around all day I go to get a drink, and nobody has a Coke, and I’m not drinking HOT tea. So, what do I do? I drink out of the garden hose with all the other kids, and of course, it’s full of bacteria and parasites, and I get really sick. I get what is called Delhi belly.

I had some illness off and on pretty much the whole time I lived in India. Looking at my school record you’d see I had an incredible number of absences because I got sick all the time. But guess what? As an adult, I am rarely sick. Why? Because I have already caught everything and my body has built up immunities. Now it’s not a perfect immunity, but illness creates immunity. In India, they call measles “The Angel’s Kiss”, which seems quite odd and unusual. The reason is this: Catching the measles as a child prevents many fatal adult illnesses. So, the disease creates immunity. Out of sickness, health.

PHOTO CREDIT: JOHN HASLAM – STREET CRICKET; AGRA, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA