Ah, fall in Northwestern Pennsylvania. That means one thing: bust out the Halls and Vicks Vapor Rub because it’s cold season.
The thing that I find most irritating about the onset of a cold is how it stalks you slowly, like a jungle predator waiting to pounce. You panic when you first realize that you’re being stalked by a cold. It may start spontaneously one day with a little tickle in the back of your throat. “No big deal,” you say to yourself. “It must just be seasonal allergies.” Then, before you know it, your nose starts to run. “Shit.” You start to panic. Your heart starts beating faster now because you know something isn’t right. You start drinking orange juice like crazy to no avail. Supplements can’t help you now. You can’t escape it. It’s caught you in its deadly trap. You have a full blown cold and there’s nothing you can do but squirm and yell for help at the top of your lungs as its claws tear through the soft flesh of your underbelly.
Okay, so maybe a jungle cat wasn’t the best analogy, but you get the point.
The thing that I absolutely hate about colds is how they linger. Any day of the week I would rather contract a flu virus. “Why?” you ask. “You’re a glutton for punishment,” you say. No, not at all. Simply because the flu is going to be over after one or two days. This stuffy nose from the cold that I get is going to have me mouth breathing like a Neanderthal for weeks. Or at least like Tim Tebow.
Colds hang around like those friends who you can’t get to leave your apartment when you’re trying to score with a girl and you’ve tried to make it clear through subtle hints that he should go home because you can’t try to make out with that chick while he’s staring at you from across the room like a peepshow.
And the longer he stays the more annoying he gets. In fact, by the end of the night after he’s ruined your chances of putting your tongue in someone’s mouth, you’re pretty sure you hate him. That’s how I feel about colds.
Now, something science has tried to explain to me that I just don’t believe: The common cold is a virus, which means that you can only contract it by coming into contact with it. (Like sticking your tongue in the mouth of someone who has a cold. Or picking up a pencil that someone has sneezed on who has a cold. You get the point.) I know that they claim that being out in the cold can’t actually make you contract a virus, but this where I call bullshit on science. Here’s some real science for you. I lived in North Carolina, where it’s warm, for four years and didn’t contract a cold once. I moved back to Pennsylvania, where it’s cold in July, and after five months already have a cold. How’s that for science, Mr. Fancy-White-Lab-Coat.
Conclusion: Cold does in fact = Cold.
In all seriousness though, make sure you take some preventative measures. You don’t have to Lysol-down your dishes, but an occasional wiping of the counters is going to be helpful. Make sure that if the sun is out on one of those rare days in the Northwestern Pennsylvania fall/winter, that you take some time to get outside and get your Vitamin D for the day (it pains me to say that because I hate the sun with a passion). Start taking a vitamin to make sure your body is getting everything that it needs to help it fight off infections easier. Most of all, wash your hands with warm water and soap. Do these things, please, so that you don’t give them to your children, so that I don’t have to spend all day with a bunch of snotty-nosed, coughing kids who in turn get me sick.
Best of luck to you all this cold season and Godspeed.