back to article Millions of moaners vindicated: Man flu is 'a thing', says researcher, and big TVs are cure

Moaning men complaining they have "man flu" – a much more serious and, if sufferers are to be believed, potentially deadly version of the common cold – may actually have a point. Canadian academic Kyle Sue investigated whether men are wimps or just immunologically inferior, in an article published in the British Medical …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Perhaps now is the time for male-friendly spaces, equipped with enormous televisions and reclining chairs, to be set up where men can recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety and comfort."

    And Scotch. Nice Scotch too. I once remember a bottle of lovely Bowmore helped me recover from a nasty cold. Should be available on prescription. Or free in the above man-flu recovery zones.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Bowmore is very nice, but I am also quite partial to Talisker's Port Ruighe. Slightly gentler on the throat, which might be beneficial. Some smoked Scottish salmon to go with it (only for the correct balance of omega fatty accids, of course) would go down nicely as well

      1. thegroucho
        Joke

        You are both wrong - if you are this ill then likely your sense of taste and smell is going to be affected.

        No point using the nice stuff, an average quality will do well.

        Once you feel better - congratulate yourself with a wee dram of the good stuff.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          I'm going to go all 'Five Go Mad' ..comic strip

          And suggest 'lashings of' Ginger Beer Wine - hot preferably...

          Relatively cheap....and ginger! You'll be up chasing wife, significant other or Nurses * around in no

          time...

          * not recommended, but you can still think about doing it, (at least presently).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "No point using the nice stuff"

          You may have a point, but I'm a little disappointed with your use of logic and reason in these circumstances. I managed to convince myself, and my family, that the quality of the Whisky was the key factor in my recovery. This is one of the few times I'm willing to take a leap of faith. Evidence? Totally unnecessary.

          1. John Sager

            Re: "No point using the nice stuff"

            Ginger wine & cooking scotch in 1:1 ratio in the 'morbid' phase, then it has to be Highland Park in the recovery phase (and subsequent phases too!).

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: "No point using the nice stuff"

            A friend of mine used to swear by a tot of Bourbon heated in the microwave. No need to drink the stuff, just open the oven door & inhale...

        3. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Once you feel better - congratulate yourself with a wee dram of the good stuff.

          "A wee dram"? Meh... moderation is for monks. Bring on the cask!!!!

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Glenkinchie

        Just saying.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      A doctor writes...

      From the South Wales Daily Post, September 1895

      "EXCELSIOR SCOTCH WHISKY. "We have examined analytically the blend of Scotch Whisky, and find it to be unusually pure, of excellent flavour, and well matured. Recommended with confidence as a safe and palatable stimulant for the sick and convalescent." The Practitioner Ed. T LAUDE BRUNTON, M.D., LL.D., &c. SOLE PROPRIETORS MARGRAVE BROS., LLANELLY. "Perfection of Blended Whisky."The Lancet

      Other docs preferred Irish:

      Merthyr Telegraph 1872

      "DUNVILLE & Co., Belfast, are the largest holders of whisky in the world. Their old Irish Whisky is recommended by the medical profession in preference to French brandy. Supplied in casks and cases for home use or exportation"

      I like the idea of a cask for home use...

      (Can we have a wee dram icon?)

    3. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

      Medical Scotch

      Years back I bought myself a lovely bottle of 1962 Oban (years back, but this was still getting on for 30 years old at the time). One evening a few weeks later the wife and I headed over to my sister's where my brother in law proceeded to drink the said bottle and I must say it was divine. Silky smooth.

      The next day I awoke with a bad head and the Mrs wasn't very sympathetic (for some unknown reason). When I was feeling much worse by night time she finally relented to accepted that perhaps my ailment wasn't of my own causing. After everything that went near my mouth for the next 5 days bounced the Mrs (who was a nurse) finally persuaded the GP that I might have food poisoning (I'd stupidly eaten a burger from a dodgy looking van during the day before the drinking session). I was put on a dose of antibiotics and a few days later started to return to the land of the living. A while later I was chatting to one of the consultants at the hospital and the story came up and he postulated that I quite likely owed my life to that whisky he thought that the golden liquid had likely killed off quite a lot of the organism that did me so much harm.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Medical Scotch

        Your taste goes when you have man flu so never waste good scotch on it. I use to suffer from regular bouts of bronchitis when younger and found the best 'cure' was cheap scotch (they didnt make the shit shop-branded stuff then) and hills bronchial balsam. HBB was the only medicine I've ever taken that works on your chest - possibly due the the addictive ingredient of morphine acetate which apparently caused a lot of addiction amongst the crumblies and got it banned. Sickness is a pain now,

        1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

          Re: Medical Scotch

          Your taste goes when you have man flu so never waste good scotch on it.

          I wasn't aware I was ill when I drank it. The sickness hadn't had time to get me, I certainly wouldn't have wasted it later on, I couldn't even hold down water.

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        "Medical Comforts"

        Bottle of Brandy, in "Doctor at Sea" by Richard Gordon

        Also featured in the film with Dirk Bogarde and Brigitte Bardot

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: "Medical Comforts"

          Benny* and Hot**

          * Benedictine

          ** Hot water

        2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

          Re: "Medical Comforts"

          For a cold, I generally use (and recommend) a mug of strong tea with a dollop of honey and a large shot of rum in it.

          The hot beverage clears the head, the honey soothes the throat, and whatever symptoms those don't get rid of, the rum makes you dig having.

  2. Semtex451 Silver badge

    Vindication at last

    Going to use this as a sick note. Cough.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Vindication at last

      Never trust a man named Sue.

      1. Morten_T
        Joke

        Re: Vindication at last

        Maybe his parents wanted him to become a lawyer :P

      2. Nonymous Crowd Nerd

        Re: Vindication at last

        "Never trust a man named Sue"

        Particularly Kylie Sue. Could possibly be a country singer in his spare time.

  3. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Doctor's advice...

    I have it on good authority that masturbation helps with a cold. Just repeat the prescription every 30-60 minutes for the following 16 years.

    Added bonus - it creates heat, and the tissues can be explained away by the cold.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Doctor's advice...

        Don't forget to switch hands to get a balanced workout

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Doctor's advice...

      Agreed. A decent self-medication for a range of minor ailments. Until you get the proper stinker and can't get it up at all.

      I think the underlying mechanism is nothing more exciting than that you're getting a bit of exercise and raising the circulation. But when you're under the weather, a decent exercise you can do in bed is not to be sneezed at.

  4. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    As we all know...

    Women won't believe any scientific study on this written by a man.

    1. codejunky Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: As we all know...

      Or to really poke the bear- what about people who believe they are male?

  5. Chris Hawkins

    A man named Sue????

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Well, he must o' thought that is quite a joke

      And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk,

      It seems I had to fight my whole life through.

    2. 8Ace

      "How do you Do" !

    3. adam payne Silver badge

      Kyle Sue

    4. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      RE: Chris

      If it's presented as just Sue, women probably still won't believe it. If it's presented as Kyle Sue, they definitely won't believe it.

    5. Bob Wheeler
      Pint

      A man named Sue

      Hyu, you could write a song about that.... oh wait....

      1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        Re: A man named Sue

        I'm sure it's unrelated but Mike Scott wrote a song about "A girl called Johnny."

        In terms of Whisky, I prefer Irish.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

    The statistics are that women take substantially more sick days than men (2.5% v 1.6%). My experience is that men are much more stoical than women and if there is something real to man flu then it just reinforces men's fortitude. I do quite like the banter but any remark which could be construed as negative against women is more or less a sacking offence so it is one sided and no fun like it used to be.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

      It men soldiering on through man flu, or women trying not to spread their germs around the office?

      As a boss, if someone has a cold/flu/whatever, I'd rather they not come into the office. One person off ill is inconvenient. Half a dozen staff off a few days later with the same infection is much worse.

      Men may think they're being brave coming into the office when ill, but they're not doing anyone any favors.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

        @A Non e-mouse

        Unfortunately you seem to be in a minority, most managers I've come across don't care about whether you infect everyone else, they just don't want you to be off.

        My experience is not that it's bravery driving people to come in when ill, it's fear of reprisals.

        1. Laura Kerr
          Devil

          Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

          "most managers I've come across don't care about whether you infect everyone else, they just don't want you to be off."

          Droplet infection is your friend for dealing with people like that. If you find yourself working for that sort of manager, the thing to do is spend as much time in their presence, while coughing and sneezing into a sopping wet hanky. Preferably in a small room.

          If they catch it themselves, they don't have any choice but to come in, unless they want to run the gamut of smirks when they come back after being off sick.

        2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

          Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

          My experience is not that it's bravery driving people to come in when ill, it's fear of reprisals.

          As professionals we are the lucky ones. I have a bus driver friend who simply did not get paid if he took time off ill and it is the same for many other people out there.

          Effectively forcing people to work when ill, particularly in direct public facing roles, has huge consequences for all of society.

          I have had far fewer colds and sniffles since I began working from home. When I do go down with a cold I can usually pinpoint it to some snotty-nosed kid on a checkout a few days earlier.

          1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

            Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

            Effectively forcing people to work when ill, particularly in direct public facing roles, has huge consequences for all of society.

            My partner used to be a teacher and whenever they had a hint of an illness (cold, stomach bug, etc), they were forced to not go into work for at least 48 hours to prevent it spreading around the school.

            1. Lamont Cranston

              Re: teachers

              Schools only tend to insist on the 48 hour absence if you've been vomiting, these days.

              I find presenteeism is a bit of an issue where I work, probably because we're understaffed.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

              Never experienced that in any of the schools I've worked in which is why we're almost constantly ill for the winter term.

          2. Richard 81

            Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

            @Jason Bloomberg:

            Indeed, statutory sick pay doesn't kick in until you've been off for four consecutive days (including non-working days).

      2. chivo243 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

        @A Non e-mouse

        A sane viewpoint if I've ever seen one. I am one colleague who was collateral damage due to other colleagues who wouldn't stay home when they were sick.

      3. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

        > As a boss, if someone has a cold/flu/whatever, I'd rather they not come into the office. One person off ill is inconvenient. Half a dozen staff off a few days later with the same infection is much worse

        But where do you draw the line? If someone has a cold (almost none of the self-reported "flu" is anything more than a cold, if you had real flu you wouldn't be well enough to make the call) and is capable of getting themselves into the office, it can't be that bad. So to suggest that others would get it worse and be confined at home for several days sounds a lot like slacking.

        As it is, most people work at far below their capacity, so a little bit of illness won't affect their ability to delete unread emails, sit in boring meetings or add bugs to code.

        1. thomas k

          Re: most people work at far below their capacity

          Must be nice to work in a place like that. While every place has its share of shirkers and slackers, the hotels I've worked all seem to have a policy of 'if it takes 4 people to do the work, only hire three' and, between call-outs (pretty common with the youngsters) and/or high turnover (due to the high workload), you frequently have to make do with 2.

      4. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

        Men may think they're being brave coming into the office when ill, but they're not doing anyone any favors.

        Management need to sort out their priorities on this.

        I find getting told off if I come in sick and getting grumbled at about letting people down 'cause I couldn't make it in when sick a mixed message.

      5. handleoclast Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

        Men may think they're being brave coming into the office when ill, but they're not doing anyone any favors.

        Who wants to do people favours? The only fun to be had when you get a cold or flu is going to work and giving it to everybody else so they suffer too.

      6. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

        I used to go in to work to spread the bug then take a couple of days off sick and then return to an empty office and get shitloads of work done while everyone else was off. They were going to get it anyway and a synchronised plague is advantageous to some - even the manager who gets so much work done for him by not being in the fucking way all the time.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

      Men are not stoical, more like stubborn.

      Failing to admit they are not well and needing help.

      As soon as you turn away from them they collapse on the floor as their 'man' pride stops them from asking for help.

      (written by a man who felt like death on legs for 3 days after having flu shot, not flu)

      P.S. Possibly the statistics about the percentages of time off sick also account for certain things like migraine, menstrual pain (some have it quite bad, just try googling Endometriosis) and in later life menopause.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

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