I think I’m getting better.
I don’t dare say it out loud for fear of jinxing it.
I don’t know what government lab cooked up this year’s annual cold, but it’s been a doozy. I feel like I’ve been ill since before Christmas … 2018.
I’ve resisted suggestions that I go to a doctor. This is primarily because I don’t want to get the same science lesson I mastered in the eighth grade — the difference between a bacteria and a virus.
A bacteria is a single celled organism for which they can give you antibiotics that probably won’t work. A virus is a magical entity spawned from hell for which they will do nothing. That’ll be $120.
This year’s bacterial infection or hell spawn virus, whichever it is, has really been kicking people’s trash. I came in the other day, and there wasn’t another person in the entire office — I assumed because they were all sick.
As it turns out, I had a little too much cold medicine and came into work after forgetting that we get New Year’s Day off, but that’s beside the point.
You know the sickness is being passed around when people are comparing the color of their phlegm. It doesn’t matter that this is disgusting, because no one feels like eating anyway. The only thing that sounds even halfway good is an herbal tea with honey, some vitamin C and a gallon of Nyquil, which is what I’ve been sustaining myself on for weeks now.
Not only does your diet suffer. After coughing up buckets of the mucus, one’s chest begins to hurt. You’re constantly putting your hand on your forehead checking to see why you didn’t buy a thermometer during last year’s cold season.
People start to wonder if you’re sick or just sexually harassing them as you ask questions like, “Is it hot in here or is it just me?” “Is this a rash?” and “Am I wearing pants?”
It’s really OK, that’s just the cold medicine talking. We don’t want to, but we have to use anything we can to try and get rid of a cold’s symptoms. There are two primary types of cold medicine on the market to help people do this.
The first is the kind that doesn’t work.
The second works, but the side effects are worse than the cold itself as it makes you loopy, dizzy and lightheaded. The good stuff has a label with tons of warnings on it printed in a one-point font, because when you have the chills and are shaking, holding a magnifying glass to read a bunch of boring crap is exactly what you want to do.
I’m sure if you were to read them, the warnings would have a list of things not to do while using the medicine — drive, operate heavy machinery, talk to anyone, go to work, open a deli, make financial decisions and use other cold medicine.
Of course there’s also the stuff that’s marketed as “It’s not medicine, but take it anyway.” Millions of zinc pills, tablets that fizz in water and all kinds of other herbal remedies are sold with a caveat in the fine print — “not scientifically demonstrated in any way to work.”
Beyond that we have the old home remedies. People turn to chicken soup, humidifiers and various forms of witchcraft in order to combat their colds. I got so desperate the other day, I mixed a tablespoon of cayenne pepper into a glass of warm water and chugged it. I don’t know if it did anything to cure my cold, but I no longer had a sore throat. Well, I probably did, I just couldn’t feel it because my mouth, esophagus and stomach were on fire.
But I’m much better now.
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