Under coronavirus lock-down I enter a restaurant with socially distanced tables (and no alcohol in South Africa). My partner and I must fist
hand-sanitize and fill out a form. Then a waiter comes over and checks our temperatures. It's an infrared thermometer, applied to any clear area of
skin (it's not the old school tub of Vaseline and bending over in the gents as I first feared). My forehead temperature is around 36 degrees Celsius,
and my partner's arm around 35. 5.
OK, they're just checking for fever, and we're in the clear.
But then I start wondering ...
Isn't that awfully low?
I clearly remember from school that the normal human body temperature is 37 degrees Celsius.
Over 37.5 is heading towards fever at 38.
The mercury thermometers always worked like that.
But 35 and 36 degrees?
Jeepers that seems low to me!
Are we still alive, or have we been turned into zombies without knowing it?
And apparently, yeah there is medical literature that says humans are cooling down.
What we were taught is no longer the norm (unless I've been hoaxed).
And the reasons given above, I would say, are rather disputable to downright odd.
Thermometers are more accurate (well who says those infrared thingies are always accurate?), it's the side-effects of various meds (thanks for letting
us know of that supposed eeny-weeny effect!) or we have a lot less inflammation in our bodies these days than during the Civil War (how novel we're on
a viral lock-down today then, hey?).
Perhaps, as an evolutionary response to global warming, we are becoming cooler?
[OK, Wikipedia refers to variables that may influence readings, but states less reassuringly: "As of 2016 reviews of infrared thermometers have found
them to be of variable accuracy. This includes tympanic infrared thermometers in children". Although I must say in my forty odd years of
existence, I've never come across temperatures that low to be typical.]
edit on 24-7-2020 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)