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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Man flu, it's a curse!

6 March 2018

I won't be making any YouTube videos today and it's a stretch to even tap out the daily dose here at Aardvark because... I have a cold.

Well I call it a cold but I'm sure that it must be one of the most virulent strains of influenza known to man: Man Flu!

My throat is scratchy, my eyes hurt; in fact just about every part of my body hurts and I have a horrific headache.

All my senses (except the sense of pain) feel dulled as if by way of a heavy cloak hanging over my shoulders.

Oh the pain, the pain Will Robinson!

And as I type away, one hand on the keyboard, the other wiping my snotty nose, I marvel at how little we've been able to do in our fight against a mutating strand or two of RNA.

Yes, the rhinovirus (often mistaken for flu) that is "the common cold" has outsmarted mankind ever since we began to stand erect on the face of the planet.

Hell, we've sent probes beyond the solar system, nuclear-powered robotic rovers to Mars and we can build CPUs with billions of individual transistors on a single slice of silicon... but the best we can do for a cold is hot lemon-juice and panadol.

I feel cheated!

Where's the magic pill that would either provide immunity from this nasty viral invader or at least an instant cure?

Perhaps the conspiracy theorists are correct when they claim that curing the cold is actually possible but not economically sensible... because people spend billions of dollars every year on symptomatic relief from its symptoms.

Hell, you can't even buy effective decongestant relief over the counter at the local pharmacy any more. Mention the 'P' word (pseudoephedrine) and you'll have a SWAT team waiting outside ready to take you into custody for suspected drug making.

Instead, they want to give you some crappy substitute which, if you've ever enjoyed the bliss that real PE can deliver, offers little other than a way to lighten your wallet to no effect.

The worst part about having the world's worst case of influenza (like I have right now), is trying to sleep at night. Instead of a blissful relief from the pressures and stresses of the day, sleep comes in brief fits and starts, interrupted by an annoying period of wakefulness forced by clocked sinuses, aching head and shivering limbs.

But hey, I'm a survivor and they say that which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

So, all going well (funerals notwithstanding), I'll hang on and keep delivering your daily dose despite the worst that rogue strands of RNA can do to hijack my own body in order to reproduce themselves.

Oh... now even my fingertips are hurting... time for more paracetamol and a wee lie-down.

Of course if anyone has any super-effective home-treatments for this evil lurgy then feel free to suggest them. No, whiskey doesn't work, I'm not a fan and if I layered a hangover on top of this headache then I'm pretty sure the results would be terminal.

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