The Unacknowledged Epidemic
Cooties is to people as cholera is to an immune system. This is a true fact, and yet many people do not acknowledge it. This leads to a dangerous and terrible spread of a disease known commonly as love.
What are cooties, anyway?
Simple. Cooties are like dust mites. They are small, but not as tiny as viruses like, say, the flu. They sneak into one’s ears, crawl through the cochlea, and swim through the cerebrospinal fluid to the brain. By now, the damage is inevitable. They will burrow into the brain, which may take anywhere from 1 days to three weeks, depending on how susceptible one is. As soon as they reach the center of one’s brain, one will fall under their effects. Cooties feed on the electricity of firing synapses. By eating away at these synapses, they mess with one’s brain. Symptoms of infection include being unable to form coherent sentences when around the infector (for everyone has their own kind of cootie–they’re like fingerprints), suddenly losing coordination when in the general vicinity of infector, and, in extreme cases, the inability to turn one’s eyes away from the infector.
Okay… If cooties are so bad, how did I get them in the first place?
The answer is that contact and near-contact with the infector will allow their cooties to jump to the person like head lice. (A side note–one may hear lice referred to to as cooties, but this is not, in fact, true. Head lice is just referred to as cooties because the way they jump onto a victim is similar). Contact and near-contact with a carrier may also infect the person. A carrier is someone who has had contact or near-contact with the infector. Common carriers are siblings, parents, and friends of the infector.
Is there a way I can treat cooties?
Although leading scientists in this field have tested this frequently, the answer is that at the moment, we have no reliable way of treating cooties. The most one can do is try to discourage them. One can do this in a couple of ways. First, one can get rejected by the infector. This is not advisable–it hurts like the dickens. The cootie goes into shock, naturally; it was just rejected by its own. When the cootie goes into shock, the infected is affected by it as well. (Remember—it’s burrowed into the infected’s brain!). One will experience moodiness, hood-over-head syndrome, and other melancholy attitudes. The second way is to keep contact with the infector to a minimum, preferably none at all. This may not work, however. If the cootie is embedded particularly deep, one will just find oneself pining away. If the cootie is not embedded securely, one may be able to shake it loose by avoiding contact.
An important side note:
Just because one beat a cootie once doesn’t mean one is safe. Relapses are possible, and saddeningly frequent.
Alright, so I can’t treat it reliably… Is there a way not to get it at all?
Good question. One thing one can do is that one can avoid possible infectors and carriers. Make a list of people who you think may be able to infect you. Now, make a list of their friends and their family. One must stay out of shouting distance of any of these people–cooties can jump surprisingly far. If that is too much trouble, or just too darn impossible, one might invest in sound-proof earphones, gloves, and long-sleeved clothing. If those methods don’t work, one will just have to go into deep quarantine.