If it seems like I’ve been avoiding you lately, I have.
February is a cruel month in my part of the world. It’s the apex month of contagious diseases. Everyone knows this is the worst flu year in forever, but what you don’t know is that just because it’s not on the news anymore, doesn’t mean it’s over. And I don’t want it.
Look, I was once like you! I flouted the flu shot, and took my chances. I rarely ever got sick with “the flu,” the official respiratory kind, or the stomach bug people call “stomach flu.” (Clever.) It was very easy for me to dismiss symptoms. So young, so carefree!
Now, I have a family: not just kids, although it’s REALLY HARD to keep children healthy when they go to school like they do… I also have parents and older relatives who don’t bounce back so easily from everyday viruses. Gone are the days when one of them takes to their beds and gets up 24 hours later. Now, it’s more like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Social interaction this time of year is well-intentioned: there’s the Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, this year’s Olympics, and the Academy Awards in early March. I just finished a lovely and inspiring book about Hygge, the Danish Art of living cozily, a large portion of which involves pot luck events.
Pot Luck? Something someone prepared off-site where someone may or may not have been sick? Um, no.
There’s a fine line between fortifying your immune system (yes, I understand, social contact will do this), and being stupid. So, please excuse the following from me:
I’m no great hugger to begin with, so don’t “bring it in.”
I will wash my hands. This will take as long as it takes.
I will absolutely not taste something using your cup, spoon, or fork. Come on, gross!
And if I find out you’re secretly sick, I will CURSE you. Oh yes, I have studied the dark arts exactly for this purpose. Don’t be surprised if you’re visited by a plague of jury summons and pantry moths.
When the weather warms up, and we’re not walking around with wracking coughs and Kleenex in our sleeves (shudder!), I will be happy to be friends again. Until next October when I will get another flu shot and go back into hiding.