Misadventures in Curing the Common Cold

It all started with a flu shot (I think).

The symptoms of a cold come slowly, like a shark slowly circling. First comes drainage. Then comes nasal congestion. Then come watery eyes. Then comes coughing and sneezing.

When cold-like symptoms come around, I get excited. “I never get sick,” I tell myself. “I’m going to blitz this cold out of existence.”

Pride goes before the fall, and my cold medicine definitely expired before this fall.

“Aha!” thought I. “When I get to work, I’ll just walk over to the Whole Foods conveniently located near my office.”

Unless you want to spend $20 for a “homeopathic” solution or elderberry extract, Whole Foods apparently doesn’t give a damn about you. For all its wonders, it does not carry cold medicine.

Instead I ended up purchasing a half-gallon of “cold-pressed” orange juice that cost me $9.99. “Cold” was in the name, so that should help, right?

Apparently not.

To drown my sorrows (first, for paying an absurd amount of money for juice and second, for not finding any real medicine), I shared pours of the super-sweet stuff around the workplace. If I’m not going to get a quick cold symptom suppression, I’m at least going to strengthen our collective immune system.

It turns out that generosity is key. My coworker who most eagerly responded to my random offer of OJ also happened to have tons of Emergen-C (vitamin supplement drink powder) packets squirreled away.

Another coworker shared a recommendation from his days giving snake demonstrations to kids (that’s right – that’s a job): put a few shakes of cayenne pepper in a small amount of water and flush it down the hatch. He was right. There’s no margin of error for snake experts, so I’m listening. And gasping due to spiciness.

In the end, it might be sleep that does it. I’ve got food in my belly and finally got my hands on some real cold medicine. But I’ve also gotten some new wisdom (albeit hard to test) about how to stave these things off in the future:

  1. Be willing to shoot back some disgusting things to solve your symptoms. 
  2. Generosity invites generosity – just remember the orange juice.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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