10 Things You Never Knew About The Common Cold (some of which are kinda gross)

definitely a cold, honest

A plague swept through the TMBL household last week.

Yep, everyone (except Dog, who spent the week looking smug) was hacking, coughing and sneezing up a tremendous amount of bodily fluids.

It got so bad, I considered putting an ‘X’ on the door to warn the neighbourhood.

I should’ve expected it really. This time of year, when the seasons are changing and the temperature drops, is like spring break for nasty viruses.

don’t run to the dr when you get a cold, there are many great natural alternatives that won’t wipe out all your gut flora

Now that I’m over my flu, I thought I’d make a list.

As you might know, I love lists (10 home remedies that actually work, 10 things I learnt from the gym, five things you probably don’t know about Niagara Falls) and there’s nothing that eases the pain of imploding sinuses like a list (apart from, you know, actual medicine and a neti pot).

10 things you didn’t know about the common cold

1. The cold is the most infectious disease there is out there. The average adult apparently contracts 2 to 3 a year. I claim bragging rights – when I lived in Scotland I caught an impressive 4 to 6 a year. Go me.

2. After only 30 seconds of use, a handkerchief can contain up to 15,000 germs (I told you it was gonna get gross).

3. The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed 20-40 million people. And there was a severe decline in the  tapas business. Which is a shame really cos that stuff is goooooooood.

see? goooooood

4. In 1919 paranoia over the Spanish flu had reached hysterical proportions, and it became illegal for people to sneeze in the street. All the snifflers and coughers were rounded up and thrown in jail…so it probably wasn’t a good time to get your snuff on.

5. The average force of a sneeze is 103.6mph which is also technically considered hurricane-force winds. Therefore I propose renaming sneezes ‘tiny nose hurricanes’. It’ll catch on, honest.

sneezing cat is polite

6. It is impossible to sneeze in your sleep because your muscles are in a state of paralysis. You can however wake up to sneeze but your significant other might not be too happy (particularly if you’re lying face-to-face).

7. Athletes and body-builders catch more colds than ‘normal’ people. Scientists assume this is because their energy is used on performance, rather than building up their immunity. I dare you to call a body builder a big pansy though, definitely not advised.

8. Gorillas, chimps, orangutans and gibbons can catch colds. If you’re ever in the vicinity of a sneezing monkey, I’d run for cover as they can get very ornery.

Pygmy marmosets – the world’s smallest monkey, and its angriest.

9. The longest sneeze ever recorded belonged to the UK’s Donna Griffiths who, in 1981, sneezed for 978 days. Dear Lord, her nasal passages must’ve burned. My eyes are watering just thinking about it.

10. The whole chicken soup thing originated from 12th century rabbi Maimonedes who advised eating the ”soup from a fat hen”. Personally speaking, I find that eating the soup from a fat anything cures most ills.

this is my chicken & sweet potato chowder, feed it to the sick and they will be well

Weigh in: Anyone else battling colds this time of year? What are your favourite remedies? Do you bravely work through it or hide beneath the duvet?


14 thoughts on “10 Things You Never Knew About The Common Cold (some of which are kinda gross)

  1. Chicken soup and honey! Honey soothes the throat, reduces coughing and is a natural antibiotic so if it is more than just a cold, it can help.

      • Me either! I came upon this great “recipe” you might enjoy. In an eight ounce mason jar, slice one lemon thin and remove the seeds, a two inch piece of ginger sliced and cover with honey. Let sit at least three days in the fridge and it gets jam consistency. Take by the spoonful, a spoonful in hot water, or in tea. Replace the honey as it gets low. The same batch will last months in the fridge.

  2. When anyone in the house starts exhibiting signs of getting a cold, I make tea out of ginger (and squeeze a lemon into it); we increase our garlic intake; and I make congee, rice porridge with lots of garlic & ginger in it. Usually, these measures head symptoms off at the pass, but when they don’t, at least the severity is lessened.

  3. I remember Donna Griffiths! She was on the news quite a lot and it hit the front page when the poor girl *stopped* sneezing!

    Here at Tribble Towers we seem to rarely get colds, but if I’m ill with anything I hide under the duvet with tea, soup and Lemsip!

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