A District Liner suggested recently that those who have colds ought to stay at home and not spread them to others. Most who wrote in to comment have agreed, but the verdict was not unanimous. There is awareness that the need to attend to routine business is much greater for some people than for others.

The question then becomes: If you have a cold but must venture forth in spite of it, what responsibility do you have toward others with whom you share living space?

Marion M. Miller wrote: "You might be interested to kno that in Janpan (I was there recently) you see people on the street with gauze bandages over their noses and mouths. When they have a cold, that is how they protect others. Good idea, what?"

A sensible idea. But I wonder whether Americans would cooperate with a requirement that entails such inconvenience, or whether we'd be willing to risk being laughed at by our peers.

Glen C. Faw of Grasonville, Md., points out that many people aren't even considerate enough to turn their heads or cover their faces when they sneeze or cough.

"My first grade teacher used to require each of us to hold out a clean handkerchief as we entered the classroom each morning." Glen recalls. Anybody who coughed or sneezed without using his handkerchief was given an immediate refresher course in basic hygiene.

These days, we don't seem to regard the common cold as important enough to worry about. What a mistake!