That would be my first guess too. RSV often hits adults like a cold, but a little to a lot harder and tends to be of longer duration. Lots in the newspapers about RSV running amuck lots of places this past month.
Most healthy adults do just fine. It hits the babies, debilitated, elderly the hardest and can be deadly to them but for the rest it’s mostly just a really icky cold. Do a google news search on RSV and you’ll uncover tons of stories about it at present though.
I’ve been “enjoying” the OP’s symptoms since Sunday. After my wife enjoyed them for a couple weeks a few weeks before. I doubt I got it from her since she was fully recovered quite awhile before I started showing. More likely mine came from work. I just hope not to give it back to her and renew the cycle.
You’re glad you can’t hear the gross throat-clearing noises every couple of minutes. Snooort!!! Gulp!! Urrrggh! Hack!
But my go to is a special concoction of ginger tea: I get a bottle of the pickled ginger (sushi ginger) that they use at sushi restaurants, like the link from Target below. Pour some of the juice from the jar into a mug, then add lemon juice and honey and just about any sort of tea.
Strongly suggests that your doctor does not think that your infection is viral — antibiotics are ineffective against viruses and, for obvious reasons, should not be prescribed. Not being viral would rule out RSV.
IANA medical anybody, but as an alert patient IME here in the USA it’s rather common for docs to prescribe antibiotics for what are most likely viral infections. The key being “most likely”.
The rationale seems to be a) there might be a concomitant or opportunistic bacterial infection, and if so that secondary infection could well explode into pneumonia, so prophylaxis is good and b) gotta give the pt something to make them feel like the doc visit was justified or they won’t come back next time. Whether that’s “blatant fee mongering” or “providing good customer service” is somewhat in the eye of the beholder.
Also IME there does seem to be an element of symptomatic relief associated with starting the antibiotic series. Anecdote is not data, but others have mentioned the same effect.
Overall on a societal level, is this use of antibiotics smart? Probably not, as you suggest. Has it been done for decades and is it still going on, albeit now facing some opposition from officialdom? Yes IME.