Roughly how long is a common cold expected to last? It feels way too long

First off, sorry if something like this has been posted, I tried to look it up but didn’t find anything or anything specific enough to my situation. I’m not very good at research.

So for the first day or two I struggled to find a proper water source and just had to drink out of the toilet bowls at the refugee center. This was before I realized japanese knotweed now exists and provides water and didn’t have a container to boil water.
I ended up getting a common cold soon after, which from from personal experience from myself and family normally lasts a couple days. Just after getting the common cold I got a stable water source and my health has been getting consistently higher, now ‘feeling great.’
The cold appeared on day 3 or 4 and it’s been 12 or 11 days then respectively. Getting positive lifestyle happened a couple days after getting the cold.
One of the things I have found is that supposedly vitamins are supposed to help so I’ve been taking one a day for the last 5 days.

This feels far too long for now being healthy and it just being the common cold. How much longer should I expect my survivor to be sick? Why does it last this long in the first place?

The average duration of the “common cold” as the game puts it is between a week to 10 days. “A couple of days” isn’t enough for your body to deal with a virus - and just binging vitamins while you’re sick doesn’t really make it any “faster” or “better.”. Best way to prevent your character from catching that sort of stuff is by giving good environmental protection to your character’s Mouth body part.

What sucks is that you can get cured of the common cold in game, and get it again less than 2 days after you recover - that does require proper balancing. Same happens with the flu. Sure, there are probably thousands or even millions of different “strains” of the viruses, but this probably is something that could be changed just to make the game less obnoxious than it already is. It really is not fun to have to stay stuck to a place - or avoid taking risks - for weeks in a row because of this.

(it also makes no sense that you can barely last 1/4 or 1/3 of a day without becoming “tired”, sometimes even less. The punishment in fatigue is unreasonable and dare I say somewhat unrealistic - how it affects people varies on an individual basis, the game just assumes the player character is a fragile person that can’t stand on their own two feet if they have a sneezing fit.)

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There is some evidence of zinc shortening the duration and alleviating symptoms of the common cold. I’m not sure what the general opinion is, but perhaps this could be implemented in to the game?

That would be welcomed if the scientific evidence is provided I suppose. Although that would also mean they’d have to make a new vitamin entry, because as it stands, the world only knows of three important vitamins to keep track of while the others are just flavour or outright non-existent.

I have no knowledge in the field, so I’m not in a position to judge if there is sufficient evidence about it. I’ve seen a meta-analysis called:

“Zinc for the common cold—not if, but when” by Goutham Rao, MD and Kate Rowland, MD.

If anyone is interested or more knowledgeable in the field, maybe give it a read.

from personal experience from myself and family normally lasts a couple days.

Your personal experience is, well, personal, and doesn’t represent all humanity.

How much longer should I expect my survivor to be sick?

Common cold ingame lasts 1 to 14 days.
After you caught cold, there’s nothing you can do to cure it or decrease its duration. Drinking healthy beverages, eating healthy food, taking vitamins, getting healthy lifestyle in general - nothing will help you except for Panaceum. You can only temporarily alleviate its symptoms.

Why does it last this long in the first place?

Statistics. Quote from Wikipedia:

The common cold is generally mild and self-limiting with most symptoms generally improving in a week. In children, half of cases go away in 10 days and 90% in 15 days.

If your “cold” only lasts 1-2 days, it’s not a cold, you probably have mild food poisoning.

I think part of the disconnect is that the game’s “Cold” status in a binary thing. Whereas in real life, you have a couple of days ramp up (e.g., just a sore throat) a few days of really unpleasant sneezing & sniffling, and then a couple more days of symptoms tapering off. So it subjectively feels like you were only suffering 2 or 3 days even though you were “Sick” for a week+.

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That makes sense, I haven’t really thought of it like that before. Would be nice to see that simulated properly, wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for this game.