The common cold is a nuisance and it is back with a vengeance after lower numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic
Image: Getty Images/Image Source)
Getting rid of a cold as quickly as possible is ideal, but perhaps is not so easy to do.
Gone are the days – perhaps – where a cold was not quite enough to stop us from coming into work or going about our day-to-day business. Post- Covid-19 pandemic awareness has put paid to that idea. Nobody wants to be the bearer of ill tidings, in any literal sense.
There are suggestions that Brits are feeling the common cold a little more strongly than they normally would do due to lower immunity levels after the pandemic.
But generally, it is an illness that just gets in the way. So how can we shift it and get our health back?
How do I get rid of my cold?
There are actually things you can do to speed up your recovery when struck down with the cold.
All methods listed here are based on medical fact, not Dave and Pete from the pub’s suggestion that “a mixture of port and brandy will do”.
You need to remain hydrated for your body to function properly. Drinks containing Vitamin C are ideal, though not guaranteed to have any say in shifting your symptoms.
The daily shift doesn’t help, nor does the planned gym class. Your body needs time to recuperate and fight off the infection, so give it as much of a chance as you can.
Soothe a sore throat
The old gargling salt water trick can temporarily relieve a sore throat and you can by cough and cold medicines from pharmacists and supermarkets.
Gargling salt water is not recommended for children, but some studies suggest a spoonful of honey can ease the pain instead.
On ingesting zinc lozenges, Heathline says : “Close to three decades of research on colds and zinc have yielded mixed results, but a 2017 review of studies indicated that zinc lozenges may help you get over a cold faster than you would without it. On average, the length of cold duration was cut down by 33 percent, which could mean at least a couple days sooner of relief.”
Why are we getting colds again?
So, colds may be more likely to stop us doing the things we like, being productive at work or not appearing completely gross on a first date.
In 2020, the British Medical Journal published a study revealing that cases of common cold were down due to pandemic restrictions and lockdown.
At the time, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners Martin Marshall said: “The social distancing measures we have seen over the last few months and an increased public emphasis on maintaining good hygiene have probably played their part, but we also know that some patients have been reluctant to use the NHS during Covid-19 because they haven’t wanted to overburden services at a time of crisis or are afraid of catching the virus.”
But now, the cold is back and there are no restrictions in place It may well be that 18 months of social distancing an mask wearing has not helped our immune systems first line of defence.
Prof Peter Openshaw, at Imperial College London told the Guardian : “It could well be that now common colds are resurging, because of the decline in social distancing and mask wearing, that they are bouncing back and the respiratory tract has not had enough recent experience of respiratory infections to be able to mount that strong first line defence.”