I was talking with a friend about this the other day. Every winter in Minnesota, I get at least one cold. Normally it's more like two or three, depending on how many viruses my kids bring home from school. It seems though after the pandemic that my colds have been different. Has anyone else felt this way?

There is some studies that show our immune systems could have been affected by the SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID). The scientific explanation is that changes to cells in our immune system could make us more susceptible to other respiratory illnesses.

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My Cold Symptoms before COVID

My colds before COVID-19 were a little more severe, actually. Coughing, body aches, horrible congestion, sore throat, and symptoms that would make me stay home and in bed. The worst of a cold would be 3-4 days, and the symptoms would linger for over a week.


Cold Symptoms After COVID

During the year of at-home learning and isolation, none of us got sick. It was bizarre to go a whole winter without the common cold. I did get several rounds of the COVID-19 vaccine, and we eventually did end up getting COVID-19 in our house in the spring of 2023.

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When it comes to a cold, now I've had a few times where I start getting a scratchy throat and a runny nose. History would tell me that it's going to get worse and if a few days I'll be feeling pretty miserable. Since COVID, it feels more like the beginning of a cold and it just won't go away. It doesn't seem to be getting any worse, but it also doesn't get any better.

Which is worse?

This is speculation at this point, and scientists are still investigating the long-term effects. I know several other people who have complained about the same thing I've been suffering from - a runny nose that just won't go away! On the one hand, my colds haven't been enough to knock me down, but on the other, it's super annoying that I can't shake it. Have you noticed any changes to your common cold symptoms since COVID?

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