It happens at our house every year at this time without fail. My oldest child, the one at school—that giant petri dish of bacteria and viruses—comes home with a cough, which worsens over the week and keeps him up at night. He then passes it on to his baby sister, who puts her own spin on the sickness and then sends it my way. After a few days of stuffy headed numbness, I begin to emerge from the fog only to find my husband unable to get out of bed. Somehow, the cold virus that passes among my family members gets worse with time and is hardest on him.
We are just finishing our manic Christmas and Hanukkah shopping and preparing for a stream of New Year’s festivities when it begins to hit. And there’s not much we can do but wait it out, though we each have our own remedies. For my husband, it’s chicken soup, Vitamin C and Nyquil. For me, it’s hot water with lemon, Ricola cough drops and zinc lozenges.
The National Institutes of Health and the Mayo Clinic list some of these alternative treatments on their website. The common cold, after all, doesn’t and shouldn’t require anything more than over-the-counter medication—except for plenty of fluids and rest, of course. But Vitamin C, chicken soup, zinc, Echinacea, humidity, salt water gargles and saline sprays can do a lot to lessen the symptoms.
According to the CDC, the common cold can be caused by more than 200 viruses (the most common is the appropriately named rhinovirus), so it’s likely you’ll be hit by one of them this winter. Already I’m hearing stories from friends that their families have been hit, too. On the plus side, at least they won’t need to avoid my house.
Anyone sick at your house? What are your special remedies?
Photo by Renato Pequito (flickr)