'Durchzug is not harmful!': Red Cross tells Germans to leave their fans on and windows open

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'Durchzug is not harmful!': Red Cross tells Germans to leave their fans on and windows open
How safe is the cooling fan? Some Germans are not so sure...Photo: DPA

The German Red Cross has created a stir after posting some heatwave advice on Twitter. Here's why.


The organization touched a nerve when it urged people to keep their windows open and fans on, despite the aversion in Germany to Durchzug, the word for a draught or passage of air that moves through a closed space. 

In a tweet the Red Cross wrote that heat "should not be endured in the apartment: All windows open and fans on! ('Durchzug' is not harmful, only Germans believe that)."

READ ALSO: How to keep cool during Germany's heatwave

The tips were issued in two tweets which had received more than 11.5k likes in total on Tuesday afternoon. They had also been retweeted thousands of times, with hundreds of comments.
So why has this advice gone viral in Germany? It's down to many people in the country's fear of Durchzug.
Lots of Germans, especially those from older generations, believe that a draught of air will give you a virus like the cold or flu, or a stiff neck. 
It results in windows being slammed shut on trains (even when it feels like 100C inside) and an unwillingness to install air conditioning or have cooling fans or windows open for a long period of time. 
The Red Cross addressed the excitement over their tips with another fun tweet.
They said: "Jahaaaa: Of course, Durchzug can lead to, for example, neck tension - but you don't get a cold from it (you need a virus for that). Durchzug is nothing but wind."
The organization, which is the third largest Red Cross society in the world, also said there's a similar air draught phenomenon in Spain.

In their tips, the Red Cross advised people to drink water and avoid alcohol,  to avoid sports in the afternoon when it's hot and to stay in the shade. 

SEE ALSO: Is it ever legally too hot to go to work or school in Germany?

They also urged people to "think of your grandparents, parents and neighbours" and to buy them "water and fans".
The last item on the list was also a bit tongue in cheek. "Never let children, animals and interns sit 'only briefly' in the car. Just don't let anyone sit in the car," they said.
All in all, we think they have a few good points. 



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