Hand Over Your Mouth
So this is day four. And I awake mostly free of symptoms–just as I had hoped and expected after my first common cold in some years.
And I have tried to think where and from whom I might have received this viral menace. I make an attempt to be mindful of shaking hands with people who are unwell and likewise to wash my hands when they have been exposed to public handrails, door knobs, table tops and the like.
But I’m thinking maybe in the case of the common cold, hand-washing is not going to save the day. Is this right? These viruses don’t gain access through the mouth but by aerosol droplets from a sneeze or cough,
And so they reach their sweet spot in the back of the throat and only then and there begin to make a home, reproduce, work hard and save for retirement.
First, to the pathology time-line. Cold viruses (there are more than 100 types) can begin an infection with as few as ONE virus. How can something so tiny create so much havoc? But then we said the same thing about both of our infants.
It starts its human infection specifically by attaching to the cells of the adenoids in the back of the throat, I read. Hmmm. don’t think I have any, do I?
I will have to ask my mother, who is staying with us, and to whomÂ it seems as of last night thatÂ I have donated my rhinoviruses. Sorry mom. You’ll be better by Tuesday.
Like many baby boomers, we routinely had our tonsils and adenoids removed in early childhood. Did you? Be that as it may…
Once the virus or viruses find the adenoid, it takes only 8-12 hours to begin making babiesÂ Â (the incubation period.) And symptoms begin some 10-12 hours later.
So if my cold started on Tuesday, I probably did pick this one up at church on Sunday. Bless you. Go and sneeze no more.
A mild cold lasts three days. That’s the only form I’ve known for decades.
Thank heavens for a healthy immune system, although most of the symptoms of a cold are due to the histamines, kinins and other immune mediators that make it feel like tiny goats are racing around inside your sinuses and that your eyeballs are melting and your clothes are made of steel wool.