I genuinely cannot remember the last time I had a cold. This is not a boast, but a mere statement of fact. Sometime around 2005, I lost a load of weight, which I am now trying to re lose and started spending a load of time at the gym. During that period, when I was there every day of the week and clocking up between 11-14 of my spare hours in aerobics classes, I became aware that I had not had a cold for ages. People at work would periodically disappear and reappear a few days later still snuffling or croaking, but I somehow managed to dodge every bullet.
One factor is almost certainly that I do not have children to bring home diseases from schools or playgroups. My dogs may leave sand and fur everywhere but so far have not managed to transmit anything across the species barrier that is going to cause me a problem.
Another factor is possibly down to the number of people I work with. Although we sit in a large open plan office, my team comprises three people all of whom agree that the world will not end if we keep a cold away from the office instead of bringing it in to share. I even wrote a piece for our intranet, entitled, Are you a Bio Hazard? to try and encourage others to think along the same lines. Unfortunately it just takes one hero, who thinks that Western Australia will collapse without their administrative input to bring down a section. One woman last year even came in after a spell in hospital but still sporting a loud, persistent and it had to be said quite irritating cough.
‘Did she have flu?’ I asked.
‘Whooping cough,’ came the reply, ‘but she thinks she is OK now.’
THINKS? Get back to bed you mad cow and watch the film Contagion on DVD – or at least stay away from the shared areas in the office kitchen. What was she going to bring in for her encore? TB?
Actually it is not the kitchen you have to watch these days. As usual, when they check for germs, the hot spot is never where you think will be in the obvious place. It was not in the toilet, not on the fridge door (anymore) Not even the lift button. Nope, now the number one culprit is the smooth glass on your smart phone or tablet. We smear germs all over our fingers, spread them onto the sexy glass front and then put the phones up to our nose and mouth. Bingo.
So I was pretty alarmed yesterday when I thought that I may be coming down with something. I had a weird tickle in the back of my throat that would not go away, and as the first sign of a cold with me always starts in the throat, I was immediately on high alert. I have to travel across to Melborne in two weeks and I do not want to do it while producing gallons of mucus. I took immediate action and drank Lemsip. Lemsip is what I got given as a kid when I had a cold. Boiling water poured onto lemon flavoured powder, which is basically sugar and aspirin, it has an immediate and possibly placebo effect on me. I also ate an orange for good measure and doubled the number of onions in my omelette, then had an early night.
It seems to have worked, although I have sneezed twice while writing this. In keeping with my weird home remedies I had left over Thai curry for dinner tonight. If I can’t sleep it off , or frighten it away with fruit, then I will burn its house down.