The Wide Angle: Summer colds — are just the worst

Published 12:32 pm Sunday, September 4, 2016

I hate summer.

“Whaaatttttt?” you may ask?

“You have got to be kidding!” you may exclaim.

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“Who is this Eric Johnson?” you might ponder.

I’ve uttered these words plenty in the past. Normally my logic falls into the realm of, in the winter you can keep piling clothes on to get and stay warmer while in the summer you can only take so much off before you are illegal.

Wise words I always thought, and more than enough to encompass the distain I have for a season that makes you feel like you are wrapped in a wet blanket most days. Sure I like thunderstorms and hanging out by a lake, but my hypocrisy only goes so far.

I’ve always adapted better to winter and fall. I feel more at home with the crisp temps and the biting cold and the air always seems cleaner and the skies clearer.

But the day I write this I harbor just a little more hatred for summer than most days. To find the reason you need only look at me and listen to me.

Bloodshot, tired eyes; red nose; a near constant sniffing with bouts of sneezing and coughing; and a head that feels like its stuffed with cotton.

The dreaded — summer cold.

There are few things worse in the realms of being sick than the summer cold. There is no way to comfortably combat something that makes you near constantly uncomfortable.

I go back to getting a cold in the winter. You can satisfy yourself a little bit by going home, diving into a mountain of blankets and eat and drink anything hot to help drown and scald away the virus. Chicken noodle soup, chili, tea, hot chocolate — all these things make life bearable if not livable when suffering from the winter version of a cold.

Now rewind and begin looking at what it’s like dealing with a summer cold. The last thing you really want to do is run home and dive into a blanket — unless of course you have your air-conditioning set to arctic levels, which we do during the summer so I guess that’s a bad example.

Food then. I love chili and will eat it for several days straight if given the opportunity — in the winter. During the summer, a spicy, hot bowl of chili on a day that’s about 150 degrees is far from appetizing. For a guy like myself that doesn’t like the heat of summer, raising that temperature seems akin to me walking around in high-heals. And I’m not doing that again.

What? Sometimes you’re dared to do some weird things in college.

Ahem. Moving on.

Even my tried and true remedy for battling the winter cold is of no real use when being flanked by phlegm.

Side note. That’s a great band name: Phlanked by Phlegm.

When I have a cold during the winter months I will go to bed with a shot of brandy. Just one. Four shots is not a remedy. That’s a hangover.

Is there scientific evidence of this doing any good? I don’t know if scientifically it has any evidence, but I do know this: When I take the shot the heat instantly flows through and soothes my body. The aches and stiffness associated with the cold seem to fade and the alcohol reaches into my nose to clear it at least long enough to go to go to sleep.

My mom had a mixture of one part vodka, one part lemon juice and one part honey. It was a god-awful thing to drink but it did the trick. I’ll still try it from time to time and the effect is still the same, though the difference now is vodka is just a terrible beverage and the concoction still tastes horrible.

But I don’t drink hard alcohol in the summerfor the same reasons as I don’t eat a lot of chili. When it’s warm and hot out, I really don’t feel like a shot of anything. You want something cold and refreshing.

So, knowing all of this — I’m currently miserable. I’m trying to track down the motivation the cold has stuffily sucked away and deal with the infernal sun.

I’ll get through, it of course, with no small amount of whining and maybe an overly dramatic, drop-to-my-knees, fist-shaking demonstration.

But I’ll get through.

And stop thinking about me walking in heals. Weirdo.