Viral Katamari.

September 21, 2009

Black tea. Green spoon. Reykjavík, 2005.

Oh, spoke too soon on the cold front. Spoke. Too. Soon. This particular virus has a three day incubation period, which is totally bizarre, and also lulls you into complicity thinking “Aha! I have not gotten sick! I am free!” And then. Bam. Oh no.

It’s not awful, but there’s a lot of nose-blowing going on. With recycled toilet paper. Which makes me feel an awful lot like I’m recycling my nose. At least being a nanny, I have a ton of experience with the common cold. Experience that I’m going to share with you, as I have the funny feeling that I’m not alone here.

(Oh, PS: The subject line refers to my recent acquisition of Katamari Forever and the subsequent realization that I could make a sizeable katamari out of dirty tissues.)


  • Vitamin C. Maybe it’s the placebo effect since official “science” doesn’t have a verdict on the actual immune boosting properties of Vitamin C, but I swear it helps. When I do get colds, Vitamin C keeps ’em short & sweet. Or at least, it does as much as anything’s going to.
  • Green Tea w/Honey. Hydration is key, and when you’ve got a scratchy/itchy throat with that really tasty post-nasal drip thing going on, nothing is better than green tea. And honey is both tasty and soothing! Super bonus tip for super nasty viruses: My nana treats bad coughs/sore throats with a mixture of hot lemonade (preferably with fresh squeezed lemons) and honey. Doesn’t taste too awesome, but man, it does help.
  • Hot showers. Steam helps open your air passages. And the best part is, if your nose starts running in the shower, you can just keep washing your face rather than continually abrading your skin with tissues!
  • And yeah, don’t be like me caught in a home without tissues. Get the ones with aloe. After the 9 billionth time you blow your nose, oh yes, you’ll be able to tell the difference.
  • Get as much sleep as humanly possible. This seems kind of obvious, but man, it’s hard to sleep with a stuffy nose. Thank G-d for NyQuil. I never take NyQuil unless I know that my mucus membranes will keep me awake simply so that when I do need it, I know that it’s going to work. Similarly, DayQuil is the greatest if you need to stay alert and relatively mucus-free during the day. I’ve tried many a cold product and I have to say that I totally, totally swear by the Quils. The only tricky part is spacing the doses: you don’t want to take DayQuil before you go to bed and you don’t want to double up on doses since this stuff is pretty serious and there’s only so much the human liver is willing to put up with.

A lot of this is probably common sense, or stuff your mother told you, but your mom was right. There are no other secrets that you learn working with kids to keep from getting sick, you just learn to get good at *being* sick. And hand washing. I used to scoff at hand sanitizer… until I had to wipe someone *else’s* nose for a living.

On that note, while I’m recommending stuff: if you wipe a lot of noses, get hand sanitizer with aloe. Your hands will thank you.

And now, I shall go take a hot shower, blow my nose eight thousand more times, take some NyQuil and try to sleep off as much of this virus as I can before heading back into the trenches tomorrow!


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