Let’s do this the easy way: Raise your hand if you haven’t had the crud this winter. You know, the coughing, hacking, sore throat, sudden onset of fatigue, runny nose, stuffy nose.
Everybody we know is in one of three groups: they are either currently sick, have recently been sick or are waiting to get sick.
Some people mix and match, others order a la carte – there’s something for everyone.
Some of the grands’ new pastime is getting tested for strep. They swap names of antibiotics like kids once swapped baseball cards.
One of their pediatricians said there used to be a wave of colds every September after school started; but now it is wave after wave after wave.
Welcome to the post-COVID new normal.
To mix things up, one wing of the family recently passed a stomach bug around. A 6-year-old said that her 8-year-old sister, who couldn’t hold anything down for two days, was “like a waterfall—it kept coming and coming!”
Soon after the stomach bug passed through, they all came down with colds. A new day, a new virus.
It’s been ages since the lot of us all tried to get together. We make plans, contingency plans, and contingency plans for our contingency plans. Then someone announces that someone picked up something and everyone freezes in place because nobody wants a third, fourth or twenty-fifth round of this stuff.
I am not sick and have not been sick, which puts me in the third group – waiting to get sick. It’s coming. I know it’s coming; I just don’t know when it’s coming.
“I was coughing last night,” I tell my husband. “Did you hear me coughing? I think I’m getting it.”
“You weren’t coughing.”
“Then I must have dreamed I was coughing and maybe the dream was a premonition.”
“You’re not coughing now.”
“Maybe not, but feel my head. Do I feel warm?”
“You just got home from the gym.”
“I think I should lie down on the sofa to be safe. I don’t feel sick, but I could be on the verge of being sick, so maybe I should take it easy for a while—you know, an ounce of prevention and all that.
“Say, how are we on Popsicles? Ice cream can be soothing, too. Could you make some homemade chicken noodle soup? I can tell you where the recipe is and step you through it.”
No response. I bet his throat is sore and he can’t talk.
My plan is to stay proactive, eat oranges and spinach salads, down vitamins, remember not to lick my fingers when attempting to open the plastic produce bags at the grocery and drink lots and lots of water.
I drink so much water that my Fitbit registered 2,000 steps last night from all my trips to the bathroom.
I may not sleep much, but at least I’m not sick—although I am feeling really, really t … i … r … e …
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Contact her at [email protected].