Come December and as the earth moves downwards in its orbit setting the way for winter solstice, the nature prepares to cool its heels. The winter season is marked by dipping mercury levels that also accompany snowfall (not everywhere of course), presence of migratory birds and some pleasant sunshine to bask in. But the season change also brings its tale of woes. Running nose, sore throat and high fever becomes the buzzword. People throng to queue up at doctor’s offices with their list of ailments.
Medical experts opine that susceptibility to catch common cold as the season changes to winter is higher because of accelerated circulation of cold winds which spread the common cold virus. Till now, there has been no path breaking discovery of antiviral agents, so cure for common cold is still a myth. And this myth is perpetuated by always-giving-advice elder aunties and uncles whose list of treatments ranges from drinking bitter gourd juice to gobbling as many number of eggs as you can. There is a joke that if you take medicines for common cold, you will get cured in seven days and if you don’t take any then you will get cured in one week. But still, there are some Do’s and Don’ts to follow:
ïƒ˜ Cover up all time: Wear woolen clothes but do take care to cover your ears, hand and feet as they are more prone to catch the viral infections. Wearing sleeveless and short skirts is an absolute no-no at social gatherings (Note: The writer is not from any moral brigade and such diktats are purely for health reasons.)
ïƒ˜ Hot Drinks: Take hot drinks intermittently and don’t restrict them to only caffeine products. Do make sure to gulp a cup of hot milk (laced with Bournvita or Horlicks) at least once a day.
ïƒ˜ Doctor Helpline: Consult your doctor before taking any medications. Keep medicines like Sinarest, Paracetamol and Crocin which come in handy during sickness.
ïƒ˜ Hit the ground: Take some exercise as a habit and do them outside regularly. Winter season is the best season to play outside as the body doesn’t fatigue easily. And do pay heed to the first Do’s above when you go outside.
ïƒ˜ Ice cream:Â Ice cream lovers beware, this is not the right time to consume endless bouts of sundaes and chocolate brown fudges. Moderate consumption under doctor’s recommendation is the advice.
ïƒ˜ Abstention: Smokers need to kick the butt (and not temporarily) as smoking increases the chance to catch common cold among hordes of other injurious effects on health.
ïƒ˜ Dust: Avoid going to dusty areas and keeps your windows and doors closed most of times to prevent any dust coming from outside.
Even after following the above set of rules, if you get sick then don’t worry. Remember when we were kids back in school and desperately prayed to fall sick so that we could take a day off at school. Further, the royal treatment meted out to us during our convalescent period by our parents that includes favorite food and unrestricted TV access. So, just sit back and enjoy. Sometimes a brief period of sickness may be much needed from the mundane life of hectic chores and allow us to introspect. As a parting note these wonderful lines from Thomas Campion’s poem “Now winter nights enlarge”
Now winter nights enlarge
This number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze
And cups o’erflow with wine,
Let well-tuned words amaze With harmony divine.
(Note: Reading a book is the best thing when you get sick. As we don’t get time to read these days, the illness period can be utilized to grab your favorite book off the shelf.)