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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