Small Talk: Loading up on ammo this cold and flu season

I’m writing this from behind a barricade of various cold-prevention treatments. I’m trying to keep my head down, as I am surrounded by hordes of vicious, viruses scavenging endlessly for a purchase in our ears, nose, throat, stomach or lungs.

As I write this letter from the battlefield, I want you to know that I am not only fighting this war for myself, but for all the folks back home. No matter who in the house has a cold or flu, the mom suffers. So far, we moms have pretty much held our ground, in spite of being short of ammunition. We’ve been told that if we take proper precautions, chances of taking a hit from a flu sniper are pretty low. We moms are all rather skeptical, though, since the precautions are to wash our hands every 10 minutes and to hide under our beds.

I was considering that, but I had to help a child who was vomiting get to the nurse’s office and then run across town to the only drugstore that carries the Gummi Bear throat lozenges. I have been washing my hands like they suggested, and now they closely resemble the backside of a chapped alligator.

While cases of flu have exploded here and there, the biggest worry here at the front is the cold viruses. They outnumber us about a zillion to one. Don’t worry about me, though, because I have stocked my personal armory with one or two remedies that have made me almost bulletproof so far this winter.

I have battled back two direct attacks with my favorite concoction, which is an orange-flavored fizzy tablet that you put in water and drink every few hours, as soon as you realize you’ve been exposed. It is loaded with all those herbs I can scarcely pronounce, like forsythia and Chinese vitex plus vitamins. While it still sort of seems like magic, it works. Back this up with some nighttime cold capsules, and I am good to go.

This last attack was a close one, though. The virus had me pinned to my pillow all day Sunday, but after quarts of fizzy drink and a handful of the capsules, I drove the invaders back past the DMZ. My nose is still a little drippy, but I’ve shaken that overall crummy feeling you get when the enemy first starts to set up camp. I love the smell of orange drink in the morning.

Meanwhile, I am constantly checking out the other items in our arsenal. There are some enormous Echinacea tablets, but I’m not sure I could swallow them. There are also bags and bags of zinc lozenges. I know they are powerful and they are cherry-flavored, but they still taste like you’ve been sucking on a mouthful of nickels. I do love to load up on the vitamin C armor, though, which lets me rationalize spending $3.50 for a bottle of designer smoothie. Once I run out of money, I switch to frozen cranberry juice.

Well, I’d better get some shut-eye. Those viruses can spot sleep deprivation at 100 yards. Write when you can and thanks for that package of chicken soup. Sarge says it doesn’t do any good, but it sure makes us feel better.

Love, Mom

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