Codgers, Kids and Colds

image I am sitting in my car, in the park.  I have a low grade headache that has been a frequent visitor since Monday.  My nose is running, which, with a nose like mine, is quite a sight (rim-shot, please).  Thursday, it was sneezing, Wednesday coughing, Tuesday upset stomach. Monday headache, All you happy children, I wish the best to you (another rim-shot, please). I am suffering though a cold, courtesy of my grandkids.  OK, I helped out in their classrooms two days last week in AZ, it could have been any of their germy little classmates.  But it seems to happen every time we go to visit them these days, and while once this cold subsides, I’ll likely say, A cold is a small price to pay for the joy they bring me, at the moment, I’d be fibbing.  Colds seen to hold on longer in my seventies than they did in my forties, too, so by the time I’m feeling better, it will be time to go back for Christmas.  Will my Christmas cold come gift wrapped?

My wife, Muri, started popping Echinacea tablets before we left for our Thanksgiving visit and she kept leaving tablets around for me to take, too.  Being a contrary curmudgeon, I didn’t take them but since she’s got the cold, too, I don’t have an I told you so coming.   As soon as I started to sniffle, I started taking Zicam, which includes echinecea and zinc and promises to reduce the severity and duration of a cold.  Here I am, a week later.  Some people swear by products like AirBorne, the over-the-counter herbal Immune Support supplement.  I’ve never been very impressed with Airborne’s claim to have been Invented by a Teacher.  Does being around the germy little buggers really qualify one to invent health care products?  And, by the way, they don’t help either. Perhaps the medical community’s and FDA’s skepticism about these products having any effect on the common cold are well-founded. Or, maybe my grandchildren are carriers of a particularly uncommon cold unique to the Arizona desert and particularly contagious for older Californians.

According to an article on, the two most likely ways of catching a cold. There’s inhaling drops of mucus full of cold germs from the air, a disgusting thought that is likely exactly what we’re doing when we’re all laughing hysterically in the car. And there’s touching a surface (aike anyplace within fifty feet of a six year old) that has cold germs, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Livescience advises: (1) Avoid close facial contact with your ailing grandchildren. Use some restraint.
image If the child needs comfort, limit yourself to hugs that don’t put you in the position of inhaling their germs. (2) Washing your hands thoroughly and often is important. Washing with soap and water doesn’t kill the cold virus, but removes the virus; (3) Try to avoid touching your face after you have been around a child with a cold; and (4) Since rhinoviruses can live up to three hours on your skin, and on objects such as telephones and stair railings, cleaning environmental surfaces with a virus-killing disinfectant might help prevent spread of infection.
Doesn’t that sound like a fun visit with Nana and Papa?

I have a better idea, the Older Eyes Worry-Free Grand Parents Play Suit, available on Amazon for a mere $1,300, soon to be available in your grandkid’s favorite characters: SpiderMan, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Big Bird and Big Hero 6.


Have a great … and germ-free … weekend.

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One Comment on “Codgers, Kids and Colds”

  1. territerri Says:

    Sorry to hear about your colds! I caught one a month or so ago, after a few new employees joined my department at work. One of them came down with a nasty cold by the end of the first week. I’d been training him on various processes and had been in close proximity. Then boom. I was sick too. I’ve been taking a daily dose of Emergen-C ever since. I don’t care if science says it doesn’t really work. I seem to be avoiding further illness although surrounded by hacking, sneezing, sniffling coworkers, so I’ll keep it up.

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