Dealing with colds and flu

A Christian Science perspective.

Is there a way to quickly overcome colds and the flu, or better yet, to prevent them altogether?

I remember once when I was flying from New Delhi to Trenton, N.J, in early December. Delhi had been sweltering, and I think that all travelers were happy to have stepped into the air-conditioned airport there. But some hours into the flight, the pilot announced that we would be landing in the first major winter storm of the season, with lots of snow and cold. 

Almost immediately after the announcement, I sensed a change of thinking among my fellow passengers. It was as if a little switch had been flicked on, and people began adopting a winter mentality – images of snow, cold, people experiencing viruses and seeing others doing the same, all leading to every person taking at least one turn with the symptoms. 

A particular image, which to me represents an idea, has helped me relative to colds and the flu. When it gets cold where I come from in Canada, many people wear a “tuque” (rhymes with “fluke”), a French-Canadian word for a sock hat or a stocking cap – a long knitted hat with a point that covers most of your head and keeps your ears warm. 

Come about mid-December in most of Canada (or mid-June in parts of the Southern Hemisphere), when the temperature drops and snow comes and stays, a series of thoughts can come to mind – not really a physical virus but a set of thoughts that’s in the air. These thoughts, like an inside-out tuque, all converge at one point – a point inside one’s head, with thoughts converging on a throat, nose, and so on. Significantly, all those thoughts are turning inward and hitting the dead end of matter. A closed-in feeling can result from this kind of thinking – a kind of mental congestion that sometimes actually expresses itself in terms of physical congestion, a runny nose, etc. 

In cold climates, people build well-insulated houses. During winter the houses are closed up tight. And sometimes people even close themselves up tight in their houses and “cocoon” for several months. 

But the solution to all of these thoughts closing inward is to start with God, Love, as being infinite and with a concept of oneself and others as the infinite expression of this infinite God. Then thought opens out, showing forth a love that goes out to bless all. Thought filled with the infinitude of God and His love naturally rejects anything ungodlike, including colds and flu.  

The chapter “Creation” in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy emphasizes that each of us in our real being is the infinite expression of infinite Spirit, exempt from disease. It says, for example: “Man reflects infinity, and this reflection is the true idea of God.

“God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis” (p. 258).

The Master, Christ Jesus, was unafraid of contagious disease. Once he broke with the norms of his culture and touched a leper, even as he was healing him through prayer (see Mark 1:40-42). In another case, he instantly healed Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever (see Matthew 8:14, 15). 

We each have the capacity to reject colds and flu. We can hold to infinite God and to His love and fill our thought with that alone. We can turn that tuque right-side out and experience God’s protection and help others do the same.

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