Catching a Cold is Inevitable


Written by Oly Beer
11 Monday 11th October 2010

The oppressively constant threat of getting a cold is driving me nuts. In winter everyone appears to have a cold. It’s like they’ve all gone to a secret meeting at the end of September and in unison and announced that, “we’re all going to get contract colds and flu this winter, pass them onto as many people as we can”. Worst of all, I have my suspicions they’ve all unanimously agreed that they’re intent on infecting me with their unpleasant symptoms. Obviously, I wasn’t invited to any such secret meetings, so I’m not sure where or when it was held.

At the end of our fruitful summer every year without failure, I venture out into the hustle and bustle of my local Superdrug determined on buying the best possible cold and flu treatments to ward of any infirmity, before it has a chance to strike. The way I can tell that dreaded winter is approaching is the beginning of coughing and spluttering, which to me marks the end to my beloved cold free season and an unwelcoming start to the flu season. I literally pour out of Superdrug with enough drugs to sedate a large elephant and scuttle back to the safety of my germ free home. Safe at last, or so I thought.
Although my safety has recently been put in jeopardy, at work it appears everyone is contagious. Just as you think you’re safe someone usually appears at your door offering you good tidings and a suspicious excuse of visiting as, "I’ve only popped in to say hello". Lies. Last week, during one particularly cold day, I had such a visitor. Knocking on the door and disrupting the writer’s haven I have created in my house. Bollocks.
I do everything and anything possible to avoid a cold: Using a handkerchief to open suspicious foreign doors, rubbing in alcohol based anti-bacterial hand wash every thirty-minutes, holding my breath when walking past someone with a cold, to even, pretending I don’t see people who are known 'cold fiends'. A word I've coined to name and shame them. I know it’s ridiculous. I’m being controlled by my inner neurosis and anxiety at the thought of even getting a cold. But with all my resistance and effort, I must be doing something wrong because every year, without fail, I catch a cold. Leaving me frustrated, ill and, a burning desire to strangle the bastard who gave it to me. I’ve sought medical advice, taken vitamin tablets, eaten my 5-a-day, all in the name of keeping cold free. So far, nothing has worked.
 The problem with illnesses such as the common cold is that they’re forever changing and mutating, consequently making them impossible to cure. People go to work with them, children are sent to school with them, infecting people, who in turn spread the germs to others. In effect, it creates nothing but an endless chain of vicious colds, making it quite likely that you catch the same one twice, and more often than not a worse one, considering its mutated state. There is a myth that is circling around which is host to the claim that catching a cold from someone else when they’re displaying symptoms is impossible. Somehow this pub talk has seeped into the sane persons’ brain. I know from first hand that this is not true.  
I have therefore thought of the perfect solution to put an end to cold and consequently ending perpetual unhappiness. Firstly, we’d need to set up an ‘International Cold and Flu Task Force” (ICFTF). There job would be to, in biohazard suits, stage interventions among people infected with the cold or flu virus and help them recover, along with anyone they’d been in contact with and who might of caught it. I imagine ICFTF respite centres set up all over the world. Of course, they, the government, would have to fund it all. What are taxes for, after all?
 I’d imagine within one year, colds, sore throats, chesty coughs and all bacteria related influenzas would have been defeated. Can you imagine how more productive the world would be without sick days; especially, no more calling your boss because you feel a bit "under the weather". We wouldn’t need that new fancy lie detector malarkey that’s being installed in offices to see whether your employee is telling the truth about that cold, or whether they’ve just have a brutal hangover from the night before would we? No.
Until the government pulls their finger out and sets up the ICFTF, I’ll be hiding away this winter. Good luck to all of you who have a cold and please, stay in doors.


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  • Guest: clark
    Wed 20 - Oct - 2010, 12:59
    Cool and unique