Thursday Thirteen–Thirteen Acts of Germicide

(First off, props to Wacky Mommy ( and Mamatoo, ( talented purveyors of the Thursday Thirteen for introducing me to it!)

How it starts:  your kid comes home from school with a little runny nose and a wee cough.  The virus that causes your little angel mild discomfort just about kills you.  No, you only wish it would kill you.  Instead it makes you feel like you want to sleep for the next ice age or two, except you can’t because you are hacking up a lung every time you lie down and your nose is so runny it could win the Boston Marathon.  Make no mistake, being sick sucks.  When I get a virus, I treat it as a act of war on my defense system.  I set aside my normally pacifist ways and set out to commit premeditated germicide thusly:*

1.  Take it lying down.  Get thee to bed.  You are tired because your body needs to focus all its energy on getting you better.  Call in all those favors, get someone to watch your kid, and go undercover.

2.  Vitamin C  Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling said that Viatmin C would help lots of things, especially the common cold.  That’s good enough for me.  Why not have a great big glass of O.J. so you can get your C on and…

3.  Pump Up The Volume of your fluid intake that is.  Pushing fluids helps to flush out toxins in your body, and can help you combat the dryness caused by some cold remedies.

4.  Zycam  I swear by this stuff!  I am referring to the original Zycam, the zinc homeopathic gel that you put up your nose.  It comes in other forms, but for me it’s nose gel only.  It is thought that over 90% of common cold viruses are rhino-viruses–meaning they originate in the nose.  To me, it only makes sense to stop them in their tracks, arrest them and keep them from reproducing where they start, before they spread to your sinuses and lungs and make you miserable.

5.  Airborne  Lots of my friends think this is the bee’s knees.  It is like an Alka-Seltzer fizzy tab that delivers a big punch of Vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals.  Again, can’t hurt, might help, and it lets you get your fluids and tastes pretty good too.

6.  Garlic–It’s Not Just For Vampires Anymore!  Garlic is known in herb-lore as “Russian Penicillin” and is used medicinally all over the world.  It is one of the only know anti-virals and has anti-bacterial properties too.  Plus it tastes really good in your…

7.  Chicken Soup  It could be that it has garlic and onions in it, or that it has a saline-like salty broth, or that it is warm and the heat loosens phlegm, or just that it is another way to get your vital fluids, or a combination of all of these, but whatever it is, chicken soup seems to have a magical curative effect.  And it tastes really good, too.

8.  Don’t Share  your germs, that is.  Wash your hands frequently, every time you wipe your nose.  Cover your sneeze with your arm rather than your hand, and cough down your shirt.   And for goodness sake, toss those tissues as soon as you use them, “saving” them spreads germs.  It is better for you (any everyone you come into contact with) if you stay home when you are sick, if you are able.  You really do need to rest to recover.  If that is not possible, warn people that you know you are going to see later that you are ill.  Especially, stay away from babies and seniors–both can get serious respiratory problems from the same bugs that cause only minor discomfort to us.  And tell people your kid is sick BEFORE you show up to the play-date.  If you get their kid sick, they might return the favor in the future.

9.  Wipe Don’t Blow  According to, blowing your nose spread germs all through your sinuses and can make your cold worse.  Fight the temptation and dab delicately at your poor little red nose.

10.  Use Good Tissues  not napkins, paper-towels or even dollar store tissues–they can be really rough on your nose.  Stick to Kleenex or Puffs.  You deserve to be pampered right now.

11.  Put Up A Good Defense  against chapping and chafing.  Use a lip balm at night to protect your lips that get chapped from mouth-breathing when your nose is stuffed.  Protect your nose with a thin layer of petroleum jelly.  It will thank you later.

12.  Get Steamed  A nice warm shower will feel great, and the steam will open your sinuses, soften mucous, and wash away germs on your skin. (Follow with a smooth slathering of your favorite lotion.) You can also use a humidifier but it is not as nice and warm as a shower.

13.  Don’t Beg For Antibiotics  We all want something that will make this go away, NOW if not sooner.  Colds are miserable.  They can feel really serious and scary.  But the fact is, over 90% of URIs (upper respiratory infections) are viral, so antibiotics won’t help, and worse, they could give you diarrhea, you could become allergic, and they can upset the delicate balance of benficial bacteria in your belly and other places–like you really need a yeast infection right now.  Most colds last 7-10 days, but the cough can hang on longer.  You just have to wait it out.  If I use Zycam right away, and faithfully, my colds seem to go away in just a day or two.

Hope you feel great again soon!

*This is just what I do.  I am not a doctor, nor am I giving medical advice.  Consult your doctor for your medical advice!


4 responses to “Thursday Thirteen–Thirteen Acts of Germicide

  1. You are my hero.
    *wipes her nose and coughs*

  2. Silly garlic trick –
    Cut a clove of garlic and put the raw edge against your skin on the inside of your ankle in that spot behind the bone. Put on tight fitting socks and wear your garlic until you can taste it {it’ll take about an hour or so} and get the antibiotic properties without eating it!

  3. AMEN!!!!! Thank you especially for reminding us about rest, rest, rest. Why do we think we’re heros for going out (or dragging the poor recovering kiddos) when we’re ill? It’s not heroic – it’s the best way make sure there are more sick, miserable people in the world. (misery loves company, I suppose). 🙂

    Okay, quick additional idea (also from a non-Dr.): acidophilous (sp?). These little supplements (esp. the ones that have to be kept cold) help keep your body on the offense of any bacterial infections.

  4. Thanks for all the info. Kiddo is always, always, always coming down with a cold when she visits her cousins. This list will surely come in handy!!

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