In light of recent events – trapped by a (man) cold

Runny or stuffy nose, scratchy throat, sneezing, using up tissues all day long, cough and headacheeveryone knows the symptoms of a common cold. Under the current circumstances that my beloved better half is severely suffering and sniffing, I thought I should make the common cold my today’s topic.

I spent most of my lab bench time working on common cold viruses and antivirals. To give you a short introduction, the most frequent cause of a common cold are human rhinoviruses. Beside rhinoviruses also parainfluenza virus, corona virus and some other bugs can cause common cold symptoms. Although neither life-threatening and with symptoms usually lasting for less than a week, the common cold makes millions of people stay at home from school or work. Normally, it is selflimited within several days. However, it can cause severe illness in elderly or immuno-suppressed people. Beside some household remedies and symptomatic treatment, there are no successful antiviral drugs or marketed therapies preventing or curing the common cold available yet. Current medications only try to relief your nose and to ease the symptoms. Due to its nastiness, there would eventually be a huge market. Unfortunately, I did not find a solution or anything helpful either.

Watching men suffering from a common cold, I suppose they would be the number one consumers longing for a golden elixir to cure them from their physical breakdown. No, I am not exaggerating. Whenever a man catches a cold, they stay on the couch looking like a picture of misery. (At least the ones, I have ever met.) My better half is an IT guy. In nerdy terms, a cold seems like a computer crash or complete hardware failure. Only after litres of hot tea and soup and all kind of granny’s homespun remedies, their system is re-booting after some days. Usually, men  claim that they have caught a very severe form of the cold. Nowadays, I refer to it as the “man cold”. Scientists and pharma industries around the world still have a whole bunch of work to do to meet the highly special needs to cure a man’s cold.