When my children were little, I was comforted to read that 229 cold viruses had been identified. What’s more -- according to the article, once you have a particular cold virus, you have immunity to that virus for life. The way I figured it, since I was often sick as a child, I probably had 2 or 3 colds per year. I was 36. So, say, easily, I had already been exposed to at least 75 cold viruses before my lovely little children started bringing home disease from preschool and kindergarten. With three children under four, viruses of mythic proportions attacked our house. One particular Christmas, all three children and I had fevers over 100 degrees. I thought it would be good to disinfect our toothbrushes. It seemed unnecessary to spend money on all new toothbrushes. I dropped the brushes into a pot of boiling water, then set the timer for two minutes. When I drained the pot, I discovered the toothbrushes had melted into a lump of molten bristle.
Those viruses were vicious. Once they found harbor in our house, they bounced around. I kept returning to that article I had read. I couldn’t be sick more than 229 with a cold virus. Every time I got sick -- was it really six times one year? -- I was lowering my risk of future infections. I did the math. Consider it a mathematical probability that with three children getting sick, on average four times a year, each, I would be exposed to 12 new viruses through my children alone! In a mere, let’s see, fingers, toes, twelve years, I should have gone through the 229 viruses. Home free. Safe.
True, my oldest would be about to graduate high school, but still, hope!
Then, the news was released. These tricky little rhinoviruses are morphing. Rapidly. They are way ahead of us. We can’t keep up with their clever ways. With all the research being done to treat viruses, rhinoviruses persist. As do the colds they cause.
All of this is a very long way to come to my point. I picked up a cold on the airplane back from Denver or maybe it was from my grocery cart or at the post office. My little children are no longer little, nor are they living at home full-time. The cold virus I am courageously fighting is my own doing. Honey, lemon, steam and maybe a Tylenol. My body will do the rest, as it has done at least 229 times before.