Once again I was faced with the prospect of spending the next week or so coughing and sniffing. Yes, the all too popular flu had targetted me yet again. This year I had been extra careful in my dealings with the extreme cold or sour. I had managed to avoid eating too much ice-cream and pickles. But all my efforts had been in vain. I sighed dejectedly at the thought of sleepless nights with a stuffy nose. Cheer up, I told myself, the worst is yet to come! And how right was I.
I knew I would be seeing my niece and nephew today, but the bludgeoning of fate changed the circumstances. As my sister walked in with her kids, I tried to hide the obvious. I beamed a smile that could have won prizes on any American game show and rushed to greet them but my voice betrayed me. I was told to halt and I froze in my tracks, knowing all too well what was coming next. I was told to stay a million miles away from my adorable niece and lovable nephew. Was I taking proper medication? Did I steam? What about home remedies, gargling and eating honey with a couple of drops of ginger juice? I answered some questions in the affirmative and tried to spin answers to the others as best I could. But I was no match for a mother’s need to protect her children from all sorts of dangers, my germs being on top of the list at the moment. I was then told to bar myself in one room and not to exit until the coast was clear, i.e. until the kids had left. But that was not possible and my sister knew it. But a first time mom was not a person to be taken lightly. Before I could start arguing, the perfect solution presented itself, when my mother fished out a dentists’ mask (Miraculous how mothers can find anything!) I was told to put it on at once! I glared at the greenish mask, pouted and said nothing. Afraid that my silence would be construed, (or misconstrued rather) as acquiescence, I opened my mouth to strongly state how I felt at being imprisoned behind such an object but was quelled by ‘not to be messed with’ looks of my sibling. Sadly I reached for the wretched thing and pulled it around my nose and mouth. I turned and looked at myself in the mirror. I looked like a dentist. Not that I have anything against dentists, well actually, I’m not too fond of them and their incessant need to stuff their hands and other pointy instruments into my mouth (my sincere apologies to all dentists in the family)
So I spent the entire day, stuck behind the mask, sneezing and then breathing in my own germs. Lucky me. The kids were still told to stay away and I was warned not to even think of touching them with my bacteria infected hands. I behaved myself at the thought of then being told to make frequent trips to the bathroom to scrub my hands clean, or better yet, threatened with grievous bodily harm. But it’s true, the most easy way for germs to pass from one person to another is by the touch of the hand. Well, at least I now couldn’t be blamed if the kids still caught the flu, but then again, I could as easily be held responsible.
I quickly started all sorts of home remedies, starting from using the steamer to gargling every hour or so. I don’t know what worked, but I eventually became better and then in a couple of days was as good as new. The first thing I did was drop the insufferable mask in the trash can. I thought of burning it and making everyone in my household watch, but that would just be a bit too melodramatic and all that it would elicit would probably be a whole lot of eye rolling.
Well, I really do hope one day a specific cure will be discovered for the common cold and people don’t have to simply self medicate with popping Panadols and other pills. Come on, it’s the 21st century, we’ve landed robots on Mars, how difficult could this be?!