Riley recently woke up with a stuffy nose and a cough, then John started sniffling, then I started feeling a scratchiness in the back of my throat, and I really and truly thought maybe we all had COVID again. It definitely seems like we just had it, but that was actually back in January so I suppose it’s feasible to get re-infected a few months later? It didn’t seem LIKELY, but it also didn’t seem, you know, completely outside of the realm of possibilities. Luckily we have plenty of tests on hand (and probably always will, after the yikes experience of needing a test and not being able to find one or even get into urgent care for testing) and the negative results indicated we’ve been sharing: a cold.

Great, except that regular old colds — and seasonal allergies, for that matter — kind of feel like a whooooole new thing now. (Swistle wrote about this recently; it must not be an uncommon experience to be dealing with colds again and wondering about protocol.) Obviously the best choice is to seal yourself in an impenetrable protective bubble and keep your snotty contagion to yourself for the entirety of your sickness … but what if you have, you know, Stuff to Do? Or your workplace/obligations aren’t so accommodating as to make space for every sneeze and sniffle? Or what if it’s just sexy, sexy tree pollen and that’s why your entire face is exploding?

Honestly every day that I was sick with this cold felt like an outrageous, if involuntary, act of hostility: not me coughing over here, what the fuck. Why not get up and spray the room with bullets while I’m at it! Why not just raise inflation more, somehow, asshole.

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Kim
Kim
7 months ago

Honestly, the pollen can go straight to hell; last weekend I wanted to spray MYSELF with bullets.

Carla Hinkle
Carla Hinkle
7 months ago

In the past two months our family has had SO MANY colds. I feel like we are all catching up after 2 years of masks. We all had covid in January and so far, no covid re-infections…just no immunity to other germs!!

MCW
MCW
7 months ago

Glad it wasn’t COVID! A cold can still make you feel horrible. I mean it seems reasonable to stay home as much as you can and all when being sick. The director of my kid’s activity gave her a hard time about that exact thing… It’s like the last two years have all been forgotten!

Rachel
Rachel
7 months ago

I had a cold and I went to work, but it was actually pretty cool to be able to put a mask on and feel like I was taking a tangible step to protect my co-workers from my (known) cold.

ANDREA
ANDREA
7 months ago
Reply to  Rachel

I got slammed by an acquaintance for suggesting she wear a mask while she had cold symptoms. As if wearing a mask was a badge of shame. I pointed out that there are many cultures, and we see evidence of it every cold flu season, that have worn masks for years. Then I had to stop commenting.
IMy mother and I were talking about quarantines. Discussed how health departments would put signs on peoples doors, warning them of measles, pertussis, etc. Can you imagine what that would look like, today?

Pat Birnie
Pat Birnie
6 months ago

As someone with asthma and allergies, who is always coughing, sniffling I get it. I feel like a pariah. I get horrified looks and people scurrying away from me. Just lovely.

Shawna
Shawna
6 months ago

People with colds or anything contagious are 100% non-welcome at my work, but we all have the capability of working remotely and even access to paid sick leave if we feel really awful. Actually, that’s one thing that has changed since the beginning of the pandemic: when you had a bad cold before you would stay home and use your sick leave; now very few people don’t work through minor illnesses since we have our computers at home. Only those people who are truly incapacitated take time off for illness.