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Small Talk: On front lines of the cold war

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, neglected 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 are all rather skeptical, though, since the precautions are to stop kissing our kids, wash our hands every 10 minutes and avoid breathing.

I was working on that when 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 gummy bear throat lozenges. I have been washing my hands like they suggested, and now they closely resemble the backside of a very old alligator.

Cases of colds and flu are turning up more because we have been masked for so long. Now that the kids are weary of masking, the door is cracked open to swap viruses again. We are seriously outnumbered, about a zillion to one.

Don’t worry about me, though. I stay masked and I have stocked my personal armory with one or two homeopathic remedies that make me almost bulletproof.

I have battled back two direct attacks with my favorite concoction, which is an elderberry-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 echinacea plus vitamins. While it still sort of seems like magic, it really helps. 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 bag of zinc lozenges, 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 elderberry drink in the morning.

Meanwhile, I am constantly checking out other items in the arsenal. There are some enormous echinacea tablets, but I’m not sure I could swallow them.

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 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

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer bobbing and weaving. Contact her at [email protected].