De common code


I GODDA CODE. Yes, a cold. Started last Friday night, and it’s marching on, day by day, not improving, not worsening.

I loathe colds with a passion. Everybody dislikes them, but my feeling toward them is red-hot, sizzling. And if anyone around me has a cold, expect me to stay 10 feet away.

That, or I’ll be running out the door, screaming.

My biggest fear is that it will lead to a sinus infection, which it can do. Sinus infections are hell on earth or, at least, that’s how I see them. Any ailment above the neck is dreadful.

Since moving to Mexico, I’ve been fascinated with the locals’ cavalier attitude toward colds. First off, few seem to make a distinction between the common cold and the flu, which is a whole different ballgame.

The Spanish-English dictionary defines cold as resfriado, but I’ve never heard anybody use that word. The word they use is gripa, which the dictionary defines as flu.

Go figger.

No Mexican I know shares my horror of the common cold. You can have red eyes, a scarlet nose and be dripping snot all over the place,  sneezing your head off, and you still get the damnable cheek kiss if someone wanders by.

Last Saturday when my current cold was still iffy, I was downtown, and my sister-in-law appeared.

She leaned over to plant the damnable Latino cheek kiss on me, and I said, “Better not. I have a cold.” “I don’t care,” she replied, and let me have it. These people are loco.

Many years ago, when I still lived above the Rio Bravo, I often neglected the yearly flu shot. Then I got a case of the flu, which a doctor told me was rather mild. If that was mild, I sure didn’t want to risk the whole enchilada.

Now I get a flu shot yearly. Been doing it for ages. My child bride never got a flu shot before she knew me, but now she does, at my insistence.

I haven’t been away from the Hacienda since Saturday. I live in my pajamas. My feet are in Polar Pairs (c) shoe-socks. My cold remains relatively low-grade, and I am waiting it out.

After breakfast, I wandered out to the yard, noticed the view above, and snapped a photo. Gotta have artwork.

Now it’s time for another movie on Netflix.

22 thoughts on “De common code

    1. Ms. Shoes: When I have a cold, my endless resistance to the locals’ huggy-kissy obsessions actually reverses itself, and I become more concerned for them than for myself.

      Their determination to fulfill the social obligation outweighs all common sense.


  1. Here is what amazes me with the culture-trumps-health syndrome. Whenever I go to my doctor’s office, I am usually feeling quite sick. And, I assume, the rest of the people in the waiting room are just as ill as I am. Maybe worse. My doctor greets us all with a Latina smackeroo — effectively sharing with us what we have not managed to contract from one another.


    1. Kris: Thank you, sir. To date, it has kept itself at a rather low level. I’m not sneezing. I have no runny nose, no sore throat. But all that can change in a heartbeat. Pray for me.


  2. Consult the local curandero or witch doctor. Some of their cures are time tested and usually work. I think most of the remedies contain alcohol which you might not like.


    1. Carlos: Interesting idea, but there is no cure for the common cold, as everyone knows. Lessening the symptoms is possible, and a witch doctor could be useful for that. But I think I’ll continue my current approach, which is to wait it out. At least, to date, it’s not all that bad, as colds go.


    1. Angeline: You have inspired me. Even though my nostrils are fairly open still, I have a Vicks inhaler downstairs that I haven’t used. I’ll go get it. I enjoy the rush.


  3. A problem with the flu vaccine is that the annual serum is concocted with bugs that may or may not be the kind of flu bug one is stricken with. It’s just a just in case your flu is from those bugs in the vaccine. Viral flu has some pill protection in the form of Tamiflu if one is so unlucky as to get flu even though one has has the shot. Tamiflu shortens the course of illness in that case but doesn’t provide immediate return to health. Bacterial infections of flu are far more dangerous for those whose health is not so good to begin with or compromised by age.


    1. Carole: I wondered who would be the first to bring up the dicey aspect of flu shots, and you win! My attitude is that it’s better than nothing.

      Yes, I’ve heard of Tamiflu. Since that mild case decades back, I’ve managed to dodge the flu. I hope it’s because I always get the flu vaccine. And, yes, I know flu risk increases in the elderly. I guess I’m elderly.


      1. I mentioned it because of another vaccine they are pushing NOB. That’s the one for shingles for people over 65(?). We’ve had the shingles vaccine and anyone who has had chicken pox has the virus laying dormant somewhere in their body but my husband got it anyway a little while back. It was a short duration but they told us when we got ours it was only effective 62% against having shingles. It’s bad but Joe only had the first stages and it passed quickly. Having seen what it does firsthand, I just have to hope I can escape it. Shingles vac is only a one-shot in a lifetime deal but you can have repeated bouts of the illness.


  4. Anyone who lived through the days before there was a polio, tuberculosis, measles or mumps vaccine should be grateful that flu vaccine can and does save lives. I was in about 5th grade what we got inoculated for polio and a year or so later for tuberculosis. I knew people in iron lungs and metal leg braces. I’m thankful I wasn’t one of them.


  5. Hey, Felipe, we both just recovered from what sounds like the same thing. It was really miserable but don’t worry, it will end soon. Wondered why we haven’t run into you in town yet.

    Take care, Vecinos Canadiense,



    1. Thanks, Troy. It’s really not that bad. No fever, no sore throat, no sinus infection (knock on wood!), no sneezing. But I have it noticeably, and it makes me nervous that it could worsen, so I’m playing it safe, staying at home and doing almost nothing. Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up a rejuvenated man. Hope so.


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