As someone who was raised in the South, I’ve been told quite a few old wives’ tales in my lifetime. Like never leave a rocking chair rocking or you’ll invite unwanted spirits into your home, you must eat black-eyed peas and collards on New Year’s Day for good luck and money, or if your ears are burning that means someone is talking about you. 

Hey, I don’t make the rules, that’s just how it is, y’all.

Out of all of them, the ones that seem to spread across cultures and geographic regions is that you’ll catch a cold or get sick when the weather changes, you’ll get sick if you go outside in the cold, or you’ll get sick from being in the rain. Now I’m not sure if that started in the south, but I’ve heard these my entire life. 

This pediatrician on TikTok is over the misconception, so she took to her platform to school everyone about this old wives’ tale.

@beachgem10 Being cold by itself doesn’t cause people to get sick, even though all of our grandmas thought so #cold #myth #sick #virus ♬ original sound – Beachgem10

“You didn’t get sick because you were outside in the rain and it was cold. It also had nothing to do with the fan, or wearing a hat, or not wearing socks or wearing socks… it has everything to do with the virus you were exposed to,” she says.

So sorry, Memaw.

She also even apologizes to all the grandmas and our aunties in the video. “They all just wanted us to put more things on our body and not be physically cold but it has nothing to do with getting sick,” she said.

It all has to do with pathogens, according to this pediatrician. “Like viruses mostly, and then some bacteria, and much less likely, fungi,” she says. 

The pediatrician adds that we have entire cold and flu seasons that we can get sick, and while it tends to be in the colder months, it’s usually just coincidence that you were also cold while you were exposed to the virus. She also says that being cold could potentially add some stresses to our bodies that make it harder for our immune system to fight the illnesses, but the illnesses are not caused by the cold itself.

“You still have to be exposed to that pathogen in order to get sick,” she said.

However, she does conclude that she doesn’t care what the evidence says, and that chicken soup does indeed make everything better.

Tell your aunties and your memaws you’re sorry and show them this video. Or you can just smile and nod as you normally do and just take their advice. Don’t forget to stock up on chicken soup, though.

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