Ice bucket challenge

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By Mark Ken Mariscal

Sunday Essays

Saturday, August 30, 2014

THE Ice Bucket Challenge has raised a remarkable amount of money and awareness for motor neuron diseases like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or the "Lou Gehrig’s Disease". In just a single month, the ALS Association has received $80 million in donations.

Many popular personalities such as Lebron James, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Bill Gates, and many more tried this challenge. Even in the Philippines, superstars such as Anne Curtis, Daniel Padilla, Kris Aquino, and Luis Manzano dared this test. Yet after all, isn't it dangerous to one's health?

When you imagine the dangers of cold water, you possibly think of 'hypothermia'. Hypothermia is a condition in which the body's core temperature drops below that required for normal, which was common during the 'Titanic' incident and during the Second World War.

The difficulty occurs when you’re holding your breath and your face gets wet. Immersing yourself in cold water triggers two dominant physiological responses: cold shock and another reflex, the diving response.

Cold water becomes mainly risky when the two coincide. If you’ve got those two responses co-activated then you’ve got a response trying to accelerate the heart. The cold shock response at the same time as you’ve got a response trying to slow down due to the diving response, which is vital to marine mammals such as dolphins and seals.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has been associated with two deaths so far. The Scottish teenager, 18-year-old Cameron Lancaster, allegedly drowned after jumping into a flooded pit. Another victim, 40-year-old father Willis Tepania from New Zealand, had a heart attack after drinking a bottle of bourbon.

Unexpected cardiac death is impossible to guess, but stressing the dangers of cold water can aid stop more citizens dying from the Ice Bucket Challenge. Most won’t suffer from the symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia, but there’s still a true danger that some will. All it takes is for one person to die and the money for worthy causes will rapidly dry up.

On the other hand, the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' most probably wouldn’t have gone viral if we didn’t like seeing others particularly prominent people in discomfort from being wet by ice-cold water. It’s pure ''Schadenfreude'', that pleasure you get from someone else’s hardship.

There are many remedies for this trending challenge. Not using cold water removes the danger, but who wants to watch the 'Lukewarm Bucket Challenge'?


Sunday Essays are articles by Ateneo de Davao University students for their Journalism subject.

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