Everywhere you go, you are mobbed by sniffling, sneezing, coughing, tissue-seeking vessels of germs. You are a school teacher and it is the middle of winter. Somehow you survived the holiday season unscathed. You were mildly sympathetic when your spouse was reduced to a miserable, feverish blob, but you kept your distance and were grateful to be symptom-free.
Now it is past mid-winter, and you are on the home stretch. If you can resist the onslaught of germs for another month, you will be out of danger. You hope.
With all the preventative and symptom-relieving products on the market these days, what’s the big deal? No one can afford to stay home for long, so we must be able to function no matter what. But which is the best remedy?
Should you load up on vitamin C? How about knocking down those symptoms when they develop, or is it too late by then? Is it true that chicken soup will cure the common cold?
You gargle, get plenty of rest, and wash your hands obsessively. Then one day when you feel on top of the world, you notice a slight tickle in your throat. You ignore it and decide to clean the house. The next morning your head is throbbing, your muscles ache, and you have a cough that not only irritates your throat, but is annoying to anyone within a five-mile radius.
You hate being sick. Too much down time. You are not one of those who can sleep it off for a couple of days. You get hyper and decide to do your taxes. Then you collapse into feverish lethargy. But at least the taxes are done.