We are sick

By John Toth

We are a sick bunch of people.
Everywhere I go, all I hear and see is hacking and sneezing.
“I have allergies,” a woman said in line while I was waiting for my food.
No, you don’t. You have a virus like the rest of us.
Blaming allergies makes people around you feel safer. Allergies are not contagious, like that crud we’re all struggling with.
“Don’t worry, it’s just allergies,” she said. Yeah. That’s why everyone around you is going to feel like poop by tomorrow, right?
This season’s crud is stronger than usual. It grabs you and makes you feel like ... crud.
“I’m sick as a dog,” I overheard another person saying.
No, you’re not. I have dogs, and they don’t get sick. If they did get sick, I would rush them to the veterinarian and get them well.
And, if you are sick as a dog (let’s assume that a dog got really sick and had to be rushed to the vet), what are you doing out here in public, spreading your germs?
I used to get sick more often when I had little kids because kids are germ magnets. They got sick, shook it off in a few days, and I suffered for the next two weeks.
When I was in kindergarten, I remember chewing on the same rubber toy every other kid in the class chewed on. What an efficient way to spread germs. Only kids would think of that. Oh, yes, then comes kissing. That’s even more efficient.
After I sucked on the toy, I always washed my hands, just to be on the safe side.
Yes, we are sick, sick, sick.
I get the flu shot each year, but it does not protect against the crud. Last time I got it, I didn’t even feel the needle. Not that I’d freak out if I did, but I expected to feel a prick, and there was nothing. The tech did a great job. Then she sneezed. Good thing I got the shot.
A friend said she would rather be sick with the flu than get a flu shot. Excuse me? The flu is vicious. It takes you down and keeps you down.
With my luck, the only year I don’t get the shot, we’d have a repeat of the 1918 pandemic.
It lasted two years and killed between one and three percent of the world’s population.
It was started by a group of kids in a kindergarten class chewing on the same rubber toy. Just kidding. It started some other way.
So, getting the shot and parting with a few dollars is actually a much better option than becoming a human faucet for a couple of weeks.
What’s really unfair is when I get sick right before a big trip, and I bought non-refundable airline tickets. Watch out fellow flyers, here I come. I cannot get my money back, so all of you are now going to get the germ treatment.
I try to be thoughtful of others. I sneeze into my sleeve, not in the air. I even do silent sneezes, but that feels like a bomb going off in my head. It feels really good when the sneeze is released normally ... into my sleeve.
So, when you’re around me, and I don’t look all that good, don’t touch my sleeve; nor the rubber toy in my pocket.
Being self-employed, it’s really a big problem when I get the crud. It took me a while to learn to deal with it.
I once called in sick, but nobody picked up the phone.
So, I left a message.
Nothing got done that day. I then decided to go back to work and stay late.
Like I said, we are sick people.

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