Beyond Before & After: So You Have The Plague-Cold? 10 Ways To Fight Back

A bipolar, body-positive bread enthusiast with a fucked-up ankle and a history of disordered eating chronicles health, weight-loss, and gardening. No diets allowed. 

This is my weekly installment of BB&A. This particular installment has nothing to do with body image and everything to do with the cold that is trying to kill everyone in my house.

Every day, I take my 6-year-old daughter to her kindergarten classroom.

Kindergarten is where the germs thrive. Her class is a chorus of barking.

It’s like this, only less adorable:

The spewing of millions of microscopic germs is in no way cute.

Because 5- and 6-year-olds are disgusting beasts that eat their boogers and only wash their hands under duress, the kindergarten classroom is where the germs go to dig in and torture us all until April. In April the stomach bug takes the stage from the cold/flu bug, and the carpet goes from covered in snot to covered in barf.

I don’t care what you say, snot and barf are the two most foul body fluids. All of this fuss about blood? COVER ME IN YOUR B+ — or your O- — WHATEVER, but please god don’t hurl on me.

(Filed under: Reasons NOT to teach kindergarten.)

Ella brought The Plague to our house, where it now resides. Permanently. When is the next census? I’ll be adding “Plague of 2016” to the Edelman family household.

Every time Ella sneezes she projects her microscopic terror in the atmosphere, therefore we are now all infected with Plague of 2016.

I think my 18-year-old is unscathed. But only because HE MOVED OUT. As far as I can tell, that’s the only way to escape this nonsense.

There are tissues all over our house. The humidifier has been on in the kids’ bedroom so long that the paint on their dresser is LITERALLY peeling off. Just on its own. It’s like, “Fuck this. I’m out. Suck me up in the Kirby. Anywhere is better than this room.” I think I’m on my third bottle of Children’s Triaminic Nighttime Cold and Cough. And yeah, you’re apparently not supposed to give that to kids under 4. To which I say, screw you AAP. You can take your so called “recommendations” and go straight to the hell that is a toddler hacking all night.

So far, nothing I’ve done has cured us, but I do have some pointers regardless.

From their website: “...[D]on’t underestimate the power of TLC.  Your caring and comfort is one of the best medicines for your child.”

They’ve never met my children.

So far, nothing I’ve done has cured us, but I do have some pointers regardless. These things will (ostensibly) help you heal. That’s what Medicine says. And also Nature. I’m an RN, so I’m legally qualified to give you this information.

My Best Tips For Brutally Murdering The Plague Like A Well-Loved Character On Game Of Thrones:


Get as much of it as you can. As often as you can.

Except if you have kids and they are also hacking. In which case, you’re never sleeping again and you’re also never going to kick this cold. My advice? Go to Costco for Kleenex/bleach/whiskey.


Drink as much as you can. As often as you can.

Water helps your body fight illnesses. I’m not sure how exactly. I learned it in physiology I’m sure. Blah blah circulation. Just drink the water, OK?!*

DON’T SHARE YOUR CUPS. Actually, go ahead and share your cups. In fact, go ahead and spit in your cup, it doesn’t matter. This shit is coming for you.

*You’re not going to drink water and we both know it.

Take all the Vitamin C.

Vitamin C has long been heralded as the best offense (and defense) against the common cold and/or Plague. You should take some. You should drink orange juice. You should buy Emergen-C.

You should do it, even though none of these things are going to cure you of this cold.

Eat less sugar (HAHHAHA FUNNY JOKE).

Germs like sugar. A lot. So every time you down a tall Caramel Frappe to keep your exhausted ass awake, you’re feeding yourself the caffeine and The Plague all the sugar energy it requires to sustain itself and its plague babies. So maybe drink less. Or maybe you’re so sick you don’t even care.

Screw it.

Open all the windows.

Yeah, I do know it’s freezing. I also know that the germs are nestled in for a long winter’s nap. Turn on your heater and shoo them out. No, the cold air will not make you more sick.

And even if it did, how much worse could it be, really?

Use steam or cold for the bark-cough.

When, at 1 AM you’re dreaming you’re at Sea World (except don’t go there), and you wake to discover the seal is actually your child, there are two things you can do:

1. Take a steamy shower/sit in a steamy bathroom.

2. Go outside in the freezing air.

Pick your poison. Both are miserable. I recommend the use of an ipad for diversion. (Not in the shower though.)

Just put vapo-rub on everything.

Chest. Back. Feet. Just put it anywhere that it won’t cause any miserable burning, thereby adding to the disaster that is midnight with sick children.

Honey-ferment some garlic.

So, what you do is you put some garlic in a jar of (non-GMO, local, ethically sourced) honey. You let it sit until it ferments — which means that the sugars turn into alcohol, but not the kind that will make you forget this godforsaken illness (sorry about that one). Fermentation is like one tiiiiny hair from just plain old rotting.

Sadly, you’ll never know if this is Actual Science or just hippie medicine mumbo jumbo because your kids are never going to swallow Rotting Garlic Honey.

Whip up a batch of elderberry syrup.

Another possibly hippie mumbo jumbo, but maybe actually effective treatment, is elderberry syrup. You can make this yourself. It’s just elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and honey (don’t worry, not the garlic one). The lady I just stole that recipe from said her kids have never even had antibiotics, so it’s obviously sound medical advice.

But I mean, if drinking some syrup is going to keep my house healthy, I say LET THEM EAT PANCAKES (with elderberry syrup).

Utilize those long forgotten essential oils.

You probably forgot that you have 17 bottles of melaleuca in the back of your bathroom cupboard. Well pull those puppies out and start blending! You’re a disgrace to earthy mommas everywhere.

Max was complaining (read: losing his shit) of ear pain, so I lovingly mixed up a batch of warm almond oil with lavender and tea tree... which I never used because he screamed at me so long I finally just gave him a ibuprofen/benadryl cocktail, slathered him in vapo rub, and tossed him into his Amazonian-level-humidity room.

Want to follow my journey? Join in? Cheer me on? Cry with me?

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter. And Beyond Before & After here.

Join our Facebook group.

Drink your water

If you like this article, please share it! Your clicks keep us alive!