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Ev­ery week BARBARA FISHER looks at is­sues that af­fect us all – the is­sues that get you talking. You can join in by email­ing bmail­bar­[email protected]

Hayes & Harlington Gazette - - Your Say -

JOY. We are com­ing up to the runny nose sea­son again. Last year I had a stinker of a cold which lasted for weeks.

Peo­ple say ‘only a cold’ but they do vary, don’t they? I felt re­ally ill and got fed up be­cause I missed loads of things, in­clud­ing a quiz for the Mayor’s char­ity which Mr F valiantly still at­tended. I’m pleased to re­port they didn’t make him sit on a ta­ble alone with his bot­tle of wine and sin­gle plas­tic glass. (We had been in­structed to take our own booze).

I’m hop­ing not to have a re-run of that par­tic­u­lar strain, or is it a fact that you never get the same nasty lit­tle cold germ more than once?

Acute vi­ral rhinopharyn­gi­tis, to give it its proper name, is the most com­mon vi­ral in­fec­tious dis­ease in hu­mans. That’s why it’s called the ‘com­mon’ cold.

So why are we be­ing told in a se­ries of ra­dio and TV an­nounce­ments that if we are feel­ing un­well – EVEN IF IT’S JUST A COUGH OR A COLD – we should go to a phar­macy?

What? Give me strength. In fact, give me in­dus­trial strength parac­eta­mol, a strep­sil, and lots of sleep. That’s all we need, and have done for decades.

The old ad­vice not to spray peo­ple with your germs still holds, par­tic­u­larly on an un­der­ground train where it’s too easy to share bod­ily flu­ids with strangers in sweaty sum­mers and sneezy win­ters.

We were told to al­ways have a han­kie (now tis­sues) to sneeze into, rather than spray­ing fam­ily and friends. The slo­gan ‘coughs and sneezes spread dis­eases’ was ham­mered home with the force of a ... erm ... ham­mer

Mr F and I suf­fered from air­borne nas­ties when we were on a cruise in 2012. We were eat­ing our din­ner when a man be­came ill as he was leav­ing the din­ing room.

He threw up on the stairs near us. We were ad­vised to wash our hands.

Within a few hours I was dis­play­ing the un­savoury signs of Norovirus. Mr F fol­lowed shortly af­ter­wards.

We were con­fined to our cab­ins and cared for by a spe­cial team who sprayed us with dis­in­fec­tant and fed us from card­board plates.

The ship was rife with it. We re­cov­ered af­ter 48 hours.

Time is all you need to re­cover from a cold. If there are com­pli­ca­tions, or a cough lasts a long time, yes, see a doc. Oth­er­wise rest and take a Lem­sip.

If we all fol­low the lat­est ad­vice, Boots will have queues longer than Pri­mark.

But with­out the

Santa hats.

IM­AGE: BIRM­ING­HAM POST AND MAIL ARCHIVE

Bless you – a baby orang utan sneezes

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