The Summer Cold

August 24, 2009 | By | Comments (0)

I've got a bit of a cold right now, and for some reason, I always find that a cold that comes during the summertime is just that much more irksome than one that arrives in the dead of winter. For one thing, during those wintertime colds you're usually not the only one—meaning, that unfortunately, many other people have been afflicted with it. I guess it's pure case of misery loves company.

Not that I want other people to have the same uncomfortable symptoms, but it's one of those things—during the all-too-brief summer, that last thing you want is to be out of commission with a pesky, lingering cold and feeling like you're having some special treat held at arm's reach. Looking out the windows and watching the bright sunshine and knowing all that you may be missing out there is altogether different than when you peer out frosty panes at gray skies and barren trees and can just hunker down underneath a cozy blanket with hot tea…

Meanwhile, what I can't figure out is why cold symptoms seem to get so much worse at night. While the most reliable explanation seems to be a combination of two sensible things—1) that the prone position naturally makes drainage of clogged passageways more difficult, and 2) you simply become more aware of every ache and pain in the still of the night—I still wish there was an even more scientific explanation. (Some also suggest that the nighttime decrease in the stress hormone cortisol allows your immune system to kick into higher gear—and the result is that you naturally feel a bit worse as it your body fights off the infection.)

Of course, all this sick-talk makes me think of the ongoing story about the H1N1 flu (swine flu) and with the Fall coming and officials already starting to discuss the potential resurgence and/or increase in H1N1 cases, will you be interested in the vaccine? Because not everyone everywhere will be able to get the vaccine, these are the groups that the CDC recommends get the vaccine, to start. Most reports say that the vaccine will be available (for about 50 million people) in mid-October.

The bottom line remains, of course, to not panic and to evaluate your symptoms with your doctor's input and try these common remedies.

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