Bespoke viruses are spreading like the plague
Published 24/02/2014 | 02:30
It used to be you knew where you were at with a cold. You had a runny nose, maybe a hoarse throat, maybe a cough. You went around with tissues feeling annoyed and annoying for a few days. You took Lemsips. You felt a bit sweaty.
If it went on too long or if you also had pains all over you would then designate it a flu and you might take to the bed or even go to the doctor, who might give you an antibiotic. As far as you were concerned, he would want to give you an antibiotic considering you had gone to all the trouble and expense of going to him (the GP was always a man back then. Don't shoot me. I didn't make up the rules).
Either the colds and flus have changed or I have. Nowadays, perhaps to do with the increasing fragmentation of markets and the personalisation and democratisation of everyone's life and experience through the internet and social media, there seems to be no such thing as the generic cold or flu. Now there are these bizarre hybrid viruses that are seemingly unique to you and that hang around for up to a month, ebbing and flowing and changing their focus. Some days they kid you that they have gone away, only to hit you hard again at lunchtime. You go from recovery to needing a stretcher within the space of an hour.