That pesky flu bug


“If it’s a bug, can’t we just step on it?” Sweet Caroline weakly asked.

Our granddaughter, who has now been stricken by both strains A and B of the dreaded flu, is really tired of being sick. Ask any parent in our fair county – it’ll be hard to find any whose household hasn’t been invaded by the flu bug this season. Last week alone, over 100 children in our granddaughter’s elementary school were out due to the unrelenting illness.

The virus has now reached epidemic proportions … at least around our house it has. Our Little One also has it now. Somehow that pesky flu bug has found its way into our home and has decided to take up residence. It’s been here so long I’m thinking about charging it rent.

Lucky for us, I remember Mom’s cure. A cure from a long, long time ago on that old familiar street not so far away called Flamingo.

With five of us kids, the flu season typically lasted for months. Someone was always getting sick, being sick, or just getting over being sick. Mom nursed each of us back to health using tried and true methods handed down from her mom.

She didn’t force us to breathe in lung-clearing mists, make us swallow handfuls of antibiotics, or take us to the doctor for painful shots in order to make us well. Her treatments were cheaper, less painful, and worked a whole lot better than a trip to the doctor.

Going into Doctor Mom mode with the first sighting of flu symptoms, Mom kept us home from school so we wouldn’t get other kids sick. From the huge numbers of kids out at our granddaughter’s elementary school, such a preventative and considerate action is a truly novel concept for some parents around this town.

Around our house, the flu bug didn’t like being warm. How do I know this? When we were sick, Mom made us lie in bed, under not one, but two blankets.

It also didn’t like Coke-Cola or ginger ale because those were the drinks of choice Mom gave us to get better.

The flu bug didn’t like saltine crackers either because that was what we ate for the first couple of days.

Mom sat next to us placing cool wet washcloths on our forehead all during the day and into the night until our fever broke. We knew we were getting better when Mom came into the bedroom with a tray and fed us homemade chicken noodle soup and a can of ginger ale to settle our stomach.

Lastly, even while she helped to break our fever — each of us got the flu many times when we were kids — but never once did our Mom get the flu. Guess when you have children you naturally become immune to all kinds of sicknesses, the flu being one of them.

Unfortunately for granddads, there’s no such things as mom immunity. How do I know? Yes, Dear Reader, after spending the last six weeks in the house with our two granddaughters who have now had both strain A and B flu, Big Papa here has also been bitten by that pesky bug.

Luckily for me, The Wife has just gotten back from the grocery store with Mom’s cure that’ll have me back on my feet in no time: Coke-Cola, ginger ale, saltine crackers, and (almost homemade) chicken noodle soup.

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001. To read more of Rick’s stories, visit his blog:]


  1. Flu shots, flu shots flu shots. It’s imperative that children, age 2 to senior citizens, get an annual flu shot. Wash your hands. And if you get the fku, immediately acquire a prescription for a flu antivirals Luke Xofluza or Tamiflu. Flu patients continue to shed the flu virus up to 14 days after flu like symptoms have disappeared, so please place yourself in social isolation.