Hi. I was the person sitting in front of you at the symphony concert the other night. This post is to inform you that the virus you were trying to pass to me all night arrived safe and sound and is now in residence in my respiratory system. Incubation didn’t take long at all. By the time I got home I felt the sniffle coming on and by the next day I was a full-fledged snot convention.
Thanks. It’s not like this week was particularly busy or anything. I have plenty of time to mind this cold for you.
There are two things you really shouldn’t bring to a concert, babies and pet rhinoviruses – even if it is an emotional support virus. I don’t mean that you should quarantine yourself if you have a cold (well, yes I do, but I know you won’t), at least take one of the thousands of different medications they have on the market. Sure, they can’t cure the common cold, but they do suppress your sneezing and coughing and generally spewing germs all over the back of my neck. You may still be contagious, but at least I wouldn’t know who to blame for my suffering.
And just so you know, violently snorting the mucus back into your sinuses isn’t a particularly attractive sound when done right next to your ear and it only delays the inevitable.
It’s one thing for me to contract a cold from being in close contact with my loved ones – I know where their snot droplets have been – but to infect a complete stranger is just rude. It’s like dropping off your Tamagotchi friend for a week at a stranger’s house and expecting it to be fed and changed and generally taken care of. It’s an imposition.
And you know those cute little viruses breed like rabbits. Even if I agreed to look after one rhinovirus for you, there would be a million of them running around by morning.
So, now I have a week of wet kleenex and unseemly honking noises to look forward to. I’ll be bleary-eyed and tired and generally puffy. I’ll eat oranges by the truckload, take naps when I have other things I need to be doing, and drink unseemly amounts of water which will then scream to be let out. There’s not much else I can do as my immune system takes up arms against the invading force.
There’s no doubt that my immune system will win the battle eventually, but it will be bloody – or at least snotty. My fear is that one day a rhinovirus will figure out what it’s been doing wrong all these years – maybe by going off to train with the Ebola in Africa – and then we humans will really have a problem.
Am I paranoid or are the viruses out to get us? HIV, measles, rubella, chicken pox, mumps, polio, mononucleosis, ebola, West Nile, chickenpox, smallpox, hepatitis, meningitis, encephalitis, pneumonia, SARS. There are billions and billions of the little suckers floating around. If they all got organized and attacked, we’d be toast.
We really need to vaccinate – get them before they get us.
I’m Jae and you might want to wash your hands after reading this message.