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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Is Everyone Sick All the Time This Winter, Or Is It Just Me?

Posted by on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 2:31 PM

I got sick a couple days before New Year's Day. It was a fever, but it was noteworthy in that I was so uncomfortable that I couldn't even read. I was just flat on my back in bed all day, re-watching Breaking Bad episodes. When the fever went away, the cold started in full force, with coughs and sneezes and all the usual symptoms. And then the cold lingered. And lingered. And lingered. I got a flu shot back in November and everything, but this cold/flu/crud knocked me for a loop. I was obviously improving a little bit every day, so it wasn't quite a bad enough situation for me to go to the doctor, but it was still annoying. Even now, I still cough a bit—walking home in the rain last night inspired a little coughing fit—and it seems that I'm not alone. Almost half of my coworkers are home sick right now. The people who aren't actively sick seem to be nursing symptoms from ailments that hit them a couple weeks ago—the office is a symphony of sneezing and coughing.

In short: This is the toughest cold season I can remember. Am I just getting old, or is this a typical experience for Seattle in 2014?


Comments (33) RSS

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bobjoebob 1
So, do you not know about swine flu, Paul? Or are your friends all crypto-hippie anti-vaxers?…
Posted by bobjoebob on January 29, 2014 at 2:37 PM · Report this
mr. herriman 2
I feel like I've got a little something going all the time, too.
Posted by mr. herriman on January 29, 2014 at 2:48 PM · Report this
I work at a naturopathic clinic in Queen Anne and we've been seeing a lot of people for these types of cold/flu bugs since October- it has been a particularly bad year, it isn't just you.
Posted by passionfruiter on January 29, 2014 at 2:59 PM · Report this
espato 4
Yes, I have felt like I'm fighting a cold for a month now.
Posted by espato on January 29, 2014 at 3:04 PM · Report this
I agree with what the quack says @3
Posted by Quack Qwack on January 29, 2014 at 3:18 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 6
Weird that so many Stranger staff get sick. Who among us doesn't imagine an office of cleaned and disinfected tabletops and handles and switches. Spotless bathrooms. A neat snack area with healthy food and nothing around that could harbor germs. Spotless coffee cups, am I right?

Yet even at the Stranger, those bugs get around. Ironic!
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on January 29, 2014 at 3:19 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 7
My symptoms go back and forth. I feel great when I'm hanging out on my own free time. And then I feel really awful and nauseous when I'm at my job. These symptoms persist all through the year.
Posted by dnt trust me on January 29, 2014 at 3:20 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 8
The winter colds this year have been brutal. The last couple years were timid. My nose has been somewhat congested for going on five weeks and we've all had lingering coughs. The whole house went down for the entire week after Christmas.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on January 29, 2014 at 3:23 PM · Report this
In case you don't know, flu shots only cover the flu strains they think will be strongest. Yes, there's analysis and graphs-n-shit™ but it's still a guess. It is a very good, accurate guess. So still get your shots, just don't assume you're clear for illness-free tonsil-wrestling.

PS it appears to have been bad everywhere. Even my husband-unit got it.
Posted by lucyboots on January 29, 2014 at 3:28 PM · Report this
I haven't had so much as a sniffle so far this winter, but then I work in a very small office, avoid children like the plague-carriers they are this time of year, and have been taking fistfulls of multivitamins & mineral supplements every day for the past several months, so maybe that has something to do with it.
Posted by COMTE on January 29, 2014 at 3:29 PM · Report this
How much do you exercise?
Posted by j.lee on January 29, 2014 at 3:34 PM · Report this
motofly 12
I work at a large city facility. There are several dozen employees on and off site with union jobs, health benefits and paid sick time. Most have been here well over 10 years with some pushing 40.
For the first time in recent memory not a single person called in sick this past Monday.
I’m not sure what it infer from that other than we have been awfully lucky or the cold and flu season just ain’t that bad.
Posted by motofly on January 29, 2014 at 3:35 PM · Report this
brandon 13
Same exact situation, same time table, but I was in California from Christmas to New Years. I still have a light dry cough. It hit me on vacation with a sore throat and being tired, then got better for a couple days, then it was over a week of dripping, coughing, and sneezing. That finally went away, and then another sore throat!

Luckily that went away and i'm feel fine except for the tickle in my chest. I had the flu shot in October, what ever this is, it laughs in the face of being prepared.
Posted by brandon on January 29, 2014 at 3:39 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 14
Yup. I have never in my life had a cough linger this long, and I am really unhappy about how good at neti pot-ing I've had to get in self-defense. Self-waterboarding is no fun.
Posted by Doctor Memory on January 29, 2014 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Rotten666 15
You getting 8 hours of sleep and daily exercise? Eating healthy? If not, do so!

Posted by Rotten666 on January 29, 2014 at 4:19 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 16
I haven't been sick, cold or flu, in years. Knock on wood.

And every day I'm around people whose daycare-attending children make them very ill, very frequently. I don't know what you all are touching before you touch your mucous membranes. Hopefully not Mudede's cubicle.

And stop sharing needles.

Posted by Max Solomon on January 29, 2014 at 4:23 PM · Report this
I started getting sick New Year's Eve, mine has progressed a lot like yours, Paul. Finally went in to my doc today, he said he's been seeing a lot of people with the same. Starts off as a bad flu, turns to cough and cold, then sticks around in some form for four to six weeks. Lame.
Posted by DuffyJames on January 29, 2014 at 4:36 PM · Report this
It's a 3-week trip and then some, per a number of sufferers. An MD friend of mine - who recently got over it herself - advises me I should be non-contagious by Superbowl Sunday . . . but that I could still be really, REALLY annoying.

With the cough part of it, I mean.
Posted by RonK, Seattle on January 29, 2014 at 5:02 PM · Report this
brocaine 19
Juniper pollen started up with a vengeance around Christmas. Knocked me on my ass, coughed for weeks, nose was a faucet, makes you feel like puking, gives you vertigo. So all who have been suffering for more than a few weeks might try a very strong antihistamine just to see if it helps.
Posted by brocaine on January 29, 2014 at 5:58 PM · Report this
tainte 20
yep, been feeling off and on shittay for a few weeks now. oh well, if i'm gonna feel like crap i might as well have an old fashioned work night beer.
Posted by tainte on January 29, 2014 at 6:09 PM · Report this
St. Beretta 21
I have been coughing since Christmas Eve.
Posted by St. Beretta on January 29, 2014 at 6:34 PM · Report this
Jessica 22
I'm on the tail end of the second cold of the season. This one started with my two year old, turned into an ER visit for croup with him, and then infected me and the husband. I can't take anything for anything beyond mucinex because I'm knocked up, and I work with the public. Flu shots and anti-bac gel only go so far.
Posted by Jessica on January 29, 2014 at 6:48 PM · Report this
very bad homo 23
I almost never get sick, and I've had it twice this winter.
Posted by very bad homo on January 29, 2014 at 7:36 PM · Report this
stonato 24
I'm really old an have lived a singularly unhealthy life (stylish though it was.) I still drink, smoke, eat fatty foods and work in close quarters with a thousand diseased miscreants every day. I used to take drugs... ... I take public transit everywhere (KCT,ST and even Pierce County when they show up) and travelling during rush-hours, it's always SRO. What little "exercise" I get is walking between buses and trains but I try to take it easy, given my age and all.

At least I don't get sick.
Posted by stonato on January 29, 2014 at 8:33 PM · Report this
My dad and I have both been sick for a month with that same thing and we're sick (heh) of it
Posted by Reader01 on January 29, 2014 at 10:22 PM · Report this
Me too. Sorry so many if us sick but nice to know it isn't just me and family. What's particuarly aggravating is I thought I was OK until a big project at work and BANG back to sick with dry cough and tired and too fuzzy for anything not routine. Not as bad as first time just after Christmas but bad enough that a couple days home was a good idea. Still have the cough. Exercise triggers more coughing so that is minimal lately. Steam helps for me if that's worth anything.

This is one of the few times public transit seems a bad idea. At my job I can avoid being packed into small spaces with lots of people. Rush hour bus: not so much and I don't want to give this to any of the few unexposed people who could still get it.

Posted by david on January 30, 2014 at 5:55 AM · Report this
To the medical experts saying "It's swine flu, dummy" and "You should have gotten a flu shot": Paul states he did get a flu shot, and swine flu (H1N1) was included in the vaccine this year. As for those of you who helpfully suggest that all illness can be avoided by eating healthfully and getting plenty of sleep: thank you. I never would have thought of that. Do you think I should maybe try cutting out gluten too?

I work at a hospital, and the providers here are saying that it's been a particularly vicious flu season. When I went to urgent care for what turned out to be pneumonia, the nurse practitioner there said the same thing. (Yes, I got a flu shot. I got a pneumonia vaccination too.)

So no, it's not you. It's been a tough year.
Posted by Kalakalot on January 30, 2014 at 8:26 AM · Report this
kamsbry 28
I'm around children all the time and have not been sick in a year. I don't get sick, I get awesome.
Posted by kamsbry on January 30, 2014 at 9:38 AM · Report this
@8: Indeed. I've been healthy for three years and this year I've had two colds in as many months. Whatever is going around it pretty brutal.
Posted by bobbelieu on January 30, 2014 at 9:39 AM · Report this
T 30
Hmm, I actually haven't been sick once this year. Usually by this time, I would have had at least one cold and some lasting sinus issues. Interesting...
Posted by T on January 30, 2014 at 11:22 AM · Report this
Yes, it seems everyone's been sick this winter. A lot.
Posted by idaho on January 30, 2014 at 1:42 PM · Report this
You are not alone. I've been sick since December 26th.
Posted by cmuberti on January 30, 2014 at 1:53 PM · Report this

after you use the bathroom, after riding the bus, before/after you eat, when you touch door knobs, elevator buttons, keyboards, after you smoke , etc etc.



and clean your infested phone every once in a while, like daily.

Not a single one of you brought the SIMPLEST WAYS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THESE GERMS. No wonder y'all are perpetually sick.

All the sleep, exercise, vitamins and vegetables in the world will not protect you if you don't practice consistent hand hygiene.

You have a house full of sick people? How about CLEAN all the high touch surfaces WITH BLEACH. DAILY. until everyone is no longer contagious.
Posted by thelandofnod on January 30, 2014 at 1:57 PM · Report this

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