After more than a decade, I have essentially resigned myself to having a cold from roughly October through April. As an elementary school teacher, I have grown accustomed to the fact that I work in a petri dish. Long before the rains come, the post nasal drip is in full effect in my classroom, and I watch in horror as germs are moved in bulk from one side of the room to the other, sprayed or slathered by any means necessary.
Oh, we do try to limit the spread of any and all bacteria. We encourage children to sneeze into the crook of their elbows, rather than their hands so that only those who come in square dance contact with the sneezer will be likely to become infected. We do the same with coughing, but once the TB ward opens up in the fourth grade, there isn't a lot left to do but ride it out. My wife, a proponent of herbal medicine and homeopathic cures came home one day, thrilled with her latest purchase.
From the Airborne web site: "When Victoria Knight-McDowell taught second grade at Spreckels Elementary School near Carmel, California, she often brought home more than papers to grade. 'Back to school meant back to being exposed to germy students,' recalls Victoria. That inspired her to create a drug-free formula that would give her immune system a fighting chance against germs and viruses." An herbal remedy for colds, created by a teacher? This sounds like it can't miss!
Can't miss unless you're one of those spoilsports at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "There's no credible evidence that what's in Airborne can prevent colds or protect you from a germy environment," said CSPI Senior nutritionist David Schardt. "Airborne is basically on overpriced, run-of-the-mill vitamin pill that's been cleverly, but deceptively, marketed." Now the makers of Airborne, and not just poor Victoria, will have to pay off a twenty-three million dollar class action lawsuit for false advertising. This is bound to come as hard news for Kevin Costner, celebrity spokesperson, who is quoted on that same web site: "Look, Airborne is great. I wouldn't go on a movie set without it; it's on my plane and in my house."
Sorry Kevin. I'll be going back to my standard regimen of exercise, getting plenty of rest along with my vitamin C, and I won't be doing the Virginia Reel with any fourth graders for a few more months.