A Cure for the Common Cold

I’ve come out of hiding. Because I took a cross-country trip and only wrote about it once? Because after nine years away, I’ve moved back into my old neighborhood and it’s been part PTSD and part revelation? Because I’m unemployed and should have been writing all along?


I’m back to write about the common cold.

I’ve had three colds (one with a side of pink eye, ear infection, and sinus infection) this winter and my husband is on his second, so that probably means my fourth is right around the corner. I’m told this is normal when relocating AND spending quality time with two kids under four. Since I’m unemployed, I have been more active than usual on social media (which isn’t saying much because I, as the kids say, “Stan” a good social media presence) and so, I have posted about my colds.

Each winter I find that I am newly irritated by commonplace nobodies telling each other exactly HOW to get rid of a cold. As if in all the years of humanity, of word-of-mouth, of social media, of MODERN MEDICINE, somehow the REAL cure for the common cold has actually been something that your grandma used to tell you that her aunt used to tell her…

“Rub your hands together, turn around three times, rub Vicks on your pinky fingers, and swaddle yourself under a heat lamp.”

Somehow the masses missed that tip and suffer each winter because, despite every opportunity to spread this knowledge, it has been lost on them.

I’m sorry, Brenda, but your father’s mother’s aunt was WRONG.

In my frustration, I have compiled a list of things that don’t cure colds…

“Take some Vitamin C!

No, no, NO! I personally noticed that if I took it consistently every day with my other vitamins last winter, I didn’t get a cold. But also, I was wedding-prep healthy. I think taking vitamin C after you’re already sick is kinda like putting on a bulletproof vest after you’ve been shot.

Have a Hot Toddy!” or “Take a shot of Tequila!”

…Uh, sure! I’m usually down for anything that’ll give me a buzz, especially when I’m sick and bored, but that’s all it’ll give ya. Oh, and it will also dehydrate you, which is baaad when you’re sick.

“Rub Vicks on your feet!”

I’m allllll about Vicks VapoRub. I even love the name. There’s a story on my husband’s side of the family that his grandpa was sick right before he was about to be deployed and in an effort to feel better and make sure he was able to leave with his friends the next day, he ATE AN ENTIRE JAR OF VICKS and woke up feeling better. I love this story, but I’m not willing to eat VapoRub and also, I’ve never had a doctor (MD or Integrative, I’ve seen ’em all) suggest it otherwise. Does Vicks help ease symptoms? Sure! But that’s it.

“I have a cold, so I gotta go get some antibiotics!”

..I meeeeeean, if you’re still thinking this is the solution, you’re not paying attention. And if your doctor tries to suggest this, slap him/her upside the head and tell him/her what year it is. Jk, don’t do that, but honestly, ask him/her if you have an infection because THAT’S THE ONLY REASON YOU NEED ANTIBIOTICS. (I once had a doctor ignore serious symptoms for years and then I finally found out I had an Auto-Immune disease, so maybe docs are sometimes/always kinda human.) ALSO, Antibiotics aren’t something you want your body to get used to, so like, chill on those, mmkay?

I promise won’t drag this on much longer, but I do have one more honorable mention, which isn’t a cure for a cold, but a mythical CAUSE for a cold…


FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOT, COLD, WARM, OR COOL, THIS IS NOT TRUE. You get sick when you COME IN CONTACT WITH A VIRUS, not if you run out to the driveway to get something in your car with wet hair.

Do I sound kinda preachy? Don’t answer that. Of course I do. You’ll have to excuse my frustration; it’s just that we live in the age of information and yet so many people don’t feel like finding any actual information. And really, this leads to a lot more serious issues aside from snorting Vicks and sucking on raw Ginger. I have that post called “Read a F*cking book” and I made stickers with that phrase on it that my friends put on their water bottles and it was all very funny, but I really can’t emphasize that point enough…read a fucking ANYTHING- an article and then read up on the source of the article. Read tweets from a reputable source. If moving your eyes across a screen is too taxing, LISTEN to something reputable.

Or y’know, just come here and listen to an unemployed commonplace nobody spout out about nasopharyngitis/rhinopharyngitis/acute coryz. (Those are the scientific names for the common cold. I looked it up.)

PS- Rest, liquids, meds for easing pain. There is no cure.

2 Responses to A Cure for the Common Cold

    Bridget G March 1, 2019 at 12:59 am #

    You speak the truth, Kate 🙏🏻 Feel better soon !

    • Kate March 1, 2019 at 1:31 am #

      Thanks, Bridge! Coming from a medical professional, that is high praise 🙂

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