A Guide to: Winter Colds


IT’S that time of year again. Mornings start to look the same as when you roll in after midnight and finishing work in the evening always results in you having trouble finding your car in the pitch black. No you’re not in an eclipse. It’s winter. And with this, comes the inevitable. A cold.

No matter how many vitamins and minerals you’re throwing back with your morning cuppa, at some point over winter (so that’s anytime in the year for us Brits) – you’ll be caught. And because there are only a minority of hermits in the world, we’re all susceptible to passing the germs on as well as being the one struck down. I blame the sneezing seven-year-old on the bus who chose the seat next to you, of all seats. Flipping great.

What’s tricky to suss out is how bad your cold is on a scale of one to flu. Granted we all have different immune strengths and coping methods, but do you bow out at the first signs of croakiness, (which is only to be emphasised on the phone to your boss at 8am)? Or do you power through, battling through arctic conditions to get to the office no matter how many tissues are stuffed up your sleeve? The advantage being of course that everyone else has been floored with it too, so there’ll always be a Kleenex handy and no need for a sudden dash to the toilets for a metre of scratchy loo roll. Result.

One likely treatment, which proves unlikely amid our permanent grey clouds, is vitamin D, also known as that big yellow warm thing that makes an appearance for a week in April and then makes a run for it back to the Mediterranean. Yes, the sun.

A study found a link between this and the rate of infection, hence why this is about the common winter cold rather than an (unheard of) summer one. But look on the bright side – you can find vitamin D in the likes of fish and eggs. But not, sadly, in routine mugs of chicken soup, sigh.

In keeping with the vitamin theme, a surprising cold myth I found was that vitamin C has no effect on a cold virus, so there was really no need to buy the three for two bags of tangerines.

Best sticking to taking painkillers around the clock and grin and bear it. And while the saying ‘if in doubt get the Slanket out’ still applies (and always will), hibernating under umpteen duvets to ‘sweat it out’ has little effect, other than keeping you snug as a bug in seven rugs.

So how to overcome the inevitable?

Remember – it’s a cold, not a pandemic. Keep hydrated whether it be laced with caffeine or a soothing hot lemon and honey. I swear by the latter. If you can talk and walk then work’s a breeze, just remember to pack a sachet of Lemsip in your lunchbox.

Get enough shut eye to reduce morning grogginess. Everything seems ten times worse when you’re lying in a toasty bed, reluctant to put your foot onto ice-cold laminate flooring. Perseverance is key.

Toilet roll is meant for just that. Nobody wants to rub the equivalent of sandpaper on their nose, especially when you’re doing it more times than sneezing. And let’s face it, armed with a feather-soft pocket-pack of tissues, you’re unstoppable. Nobody digs the Rudolph look.

It’s okay to cancel plans especially if nipping to your local for a bevy has you reaching for the kettle. Then you know you’re not on top form. There’ll be other times. Don’t be the ‘spreader’.

Public transport is a hotplate for germs. You can leave the plastic gloves and mask at the dentist but carry some anti-bacterial hand wash just in case you are lumped with the seven-year-old sneezing on your brand new parka.

Although you could hand them some loo roll…

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About Laura Scott

I'm a 22 year old copywriter working for an ecommerce website based in Manchester.

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