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Humanity has been barking up the wrong tree.  

Seven million of evolution and scientific breakthroughs — and for what?

Splitting the atom, the Great Wall of China, the works of William Shakespeare, the heyday of MTV — all of these pale in comparison to what humanity has been devoting its time, energy and research to since the beginning.

We need a cure for the common cold.

Is there anything worse than getting a cold?

OK, there are probably a lot of things worse than getting a cold, I admit. But is there anything more inevitable and annoying than a cold (other than taxes, of course)?

In fact, the worst thing about getting a cold is that it isn’t the worst thing.

It’s bad for sure.  The runny nose, the painful coughs, the aches, the constant sneezing — colds are not fun.

But they’re not a broken arm or something quantifiably bad.

Inevitably, when you have a cold, a family member or friend will assert that it’s “not that bad,” or they’ll tell you about a time when a cold they had was much worse than the cold you have.

Suspicion abounds when you have a cold.

Maybe it’s the fault of infamous cold-faker Ferris Bueller’s fault for putting doubts in our collective mind, but I always feel like no one believes anyone about the severity — or very existence — of their colds.

I am getting back on my feet and back to work after having a dreaded cold, which I learned during  something that apparently exists called “Stay Home Because You’re Well Day.” This is an online movement where people give themselves a break from work by calling in “well.” This has to be the worst illness timing since that time in high school that I got strep throat on senior skip day.

Anyway – 30 gallons of orange juice later, I feel sort of OK.

But, how is it that we don’t have our best and brightest working ‘round the clock to free humanity of this dreaded affliction?

We dread it. We run from it. But getting a cold arrives all the same.

How can we put a man on the moon and yet we can’t defend ourselves from tiny dumb germs?

Wait, actually. There are no germs on the moon, right?

Let’s devote all our energy to colonizing the moon!

In the words of Buzz Lightyear, “to infinity and beyond!”

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Parker Bowman is a staff reporter for the Hanford Sentinel, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ Parker_THS or send an email to

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