So You’ve Caught the Common Cold

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Persistent little virus, isn’t it?

While the symptoms of the common cold are relatively mild compared to other diseases, we just can’t seem to get rid of it. Why? Well, the reason is that cold viruses are extremely adaptable and prone to mild mutation. We can’t make a cure or vaccine because anything we come up with will be rendered obsolete in a week. Cold viruses are kinda like an old burnt toaster crumb fused to the bottom of your toaster. It’s annoying, but there’s no way to really get it out of there without more effort than it warrants, so you just learn to live with it.

When you catch a cold, the symptoms can manifest pretty quickly, and can last from anywhere to a couple of days to two weeks. When you have a cold, your nose may be runny, your throat may be sore, and you may have a general case of the blechs. Since cold viruses mutate so randomly, the exact symptoms vary from person to person. In general, though, the main things you want to do are get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Your nose sucks up water from your body to make mucus when you have a cold, so it can leave you really dried out, and staying like that can make symptoms worse.

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To clear congestion, you’ll need to target the source of it. If it’s directly in your nose, try some nasal drops or spray. Even a simple saline solution can clear you out. If the congestion is in your throat or chest, try an over-the-counter decongestant. Just make sure to follow the instructions, as some of that stuff can have side effects.

All you can really do is ride out the cold, so just find a spot to get comfortable, keep some water handy, and take it easy.