We’ve all heard our parents tell us to wear a coat in the winter to avoid getting a cold. Does this make sense? Does being exposed to cold weather actually give you a cold? Let’s get to the bottom of this.

According to Dr. Sorana Segal-Maurer of New York’s Queens Hospital, Infectious Disease division, the cold doesn’t make us sick, we make ourselves sick. “When the weather turns cold,” she says, “we all run indoors, where air is recycled and we’re often in close quarters with other people and viruses. We all sneeze on top of each other.”

This means that, despite popular belief, you cannot get sick from being outside when it is cold. So when your grandmother tells you to put a coat on or else you will “catch a cold,” in reality, this makes no difference.

The reason it is believed by so many is that the correspondence makes sense: the cold gives you a cold. But really, because cold weather drives us inside, we are making each other sick.

This is those living in warm-weather locations also get colds. For example, someone in California can get a cold just like someone in Minnesota.

Also, this is why we see colds come in waves, where all of a sudden it seems like everyone is sick at the same time. This has nothing to do with everyone going outside in the cold weather at the same exact time, it is about everyone being around each other indoors.

Only making it worse, air that is circulated indoors can often be stuffy and filled with germs. Since no fresh air is circulating, the illness is only spread indoors.


So that’s that. Now when your grandma tells you to grab a coat, you can tell her all of this.


Thanks for reading, friends!