When internet political discussions get out of hand, it is not uncommon for one party to label their opponent a "nazi". Of course, those who can only understand their opponents' positions by assigning them malign intent are clearly unworthy of participating further and it is sufficient to accuse such people of violating Godwin's Law before declining to debate with them any further.
I believe we need to institute a similar system for those who claim to have "had the flu" when it is clear they have had nothing more than a bit of a cold. I will call it Gendal's Law.
Influenza will consign you to bed for weeks. It will make you question your desire to continue living. It will make walking from the bed to the bathroom harder than one could possibly imagine.
A bad cold, by contrast, may lay you low for a few days. You may feel wretched. You may shiver. You may lose your appetite. You may cough. You may have a blocked nose. You may have a runny nose. You may, like me, have felt that your body has somehow forgotten how to regulate its own temperature.
But here's a clue: if you're up and running again after a few days, it wasn't flu.
I suffered from such a cold last week and, at one point, did begin to wonder if I had influenza. A cursory search of the web for flu symptoms convinced me that I didn't have it but it did cross my mind.
However, there was no excuse for my thinking it was flu. If one needs to ask: "is it flu?" then it probably isn't.
We need to get firm on those who say they've had flu when they haven't. We need to start enforcing Gendal's law!
In the future, when such people do violate my law, I urge you to call them on it.