It did cause me to miss three days of work last week, though. And all that laying around gave me time to reflect on what it was like for my siblings and me when we got sick while growing up in the 1960s.
First of all, back then there were no "unknown viruses." You either had a cold, or the flu.
And that's how we dealt with colds back then.
Now, the flu – the “real” flu, not today’s modern version – was something else.
First of all, you had to stay home from school. Back then, having the flu meant that not only did you have a pretty good fever, you had diarrhea too.
You also threw up a lot. I remember how we used to sleep with a plastic bucket next to our bed, in case we couldn’t make the sprint to the bathroom in time.
As for doctors, I don’t remember one ever coming out to the house, although I think Mom used to call him to get advice.
Anyway, somehow we survived. I don’t remember ever missing more than a day or two of school for the flu. And the colds used to run their course in a week.
Nowadays, the germs and viruses are apparently more exotic and you stay sick longer. Some people even die from the flu. Medical researchers come up with new flu shots each year, but despite getting the shot, people still get sick anyway.
But some things don’t change. When I first got sick last week, Mom had one piece of advice for me.
“Don’t forget to rub some Vicks on your chest and cover it with a flannel.”