I would bet that most of your mothers, like mine, told you all your lives to bundle up before going out into the cold because if you didn’t, you would catch a cold. Well, not to disrespect any of our mothers, but they’re wrong. The purpose of this article is to set the mothers straight.
There are far too many misconceptions when it comes to the transmission of the common cold. One billion Americans catch the cold every year, and yet, none of us seem to understand the elusive, petty virus.
You could sit out in a lawn chair for hours in a t shirt in January in Rexburg, and not catch a cold. The temperature alone does not transmit the virus. You have to actually touch something they’ve sneezed to catch the virus. The Winter becomes problematic because droplets from a sneeze or cough can travel farther in cold weather, than they can in hot, humid weather. Also, people tend to be in closer contact with each other—they stay indoors, close to one another to escape the cold.
Colds generally last around seven days, and thus far, there is no evidence that any treatments or supplements can shorten this amount of time. As much as we wish there was a cure for the common cold, that reality remains to be seen. The over-the-counter medicines we purchase only alleviate symptoms for a few hours. That is all they can do.
Many people rely on Echinacea and zinc lozenges to cure their illness. While Echinacea hasn’t been proven to hold specific cold benefits, zinc has been proven somewhat beneficial.