Going Viral

Last week at work, one of the vendors came in and approached me for some help with bags. I took them from her and as I did, she wiped her nose with the back of her hand, sniffed, and said, “Ugh, I feel so crappy.”

And I was like, what the actual f*ck?

Me: Are you okay?
Vendor: Yeah. But don’t worry, it’s not covid, I tested. It’s just a bad cold.
Me: Yet you’re here, and you’re not wearing a mask.
Vendor: Well, it’s not covid so…

Don’t worry, it’s NOT COVID? Since when is that a thing, that it’s acceptable to spread your germs to other people as long as it’s not covid?! Why on earth do you think I want to get a bad cold any more than I want to get covid? Because I DON’T. Yet—I did get a bad cold, thanks to this person and their communicable disease. So I spent the last week sick as a dog—but don’t worry, it’s not covid, I tested—and had to lose three days of pay as well as cancel my mom’s 81st birthday party because, even though it WASN’T covid, I didn’t want her and my dad, and my co-workers and the myriad of customers who come into my workplace to catch whatever sh*tty virus I had.

I honestly thought at this point, after everything people have been through, that they might be a little more considerate when they’re sick, but I’ve actually heard that phrase “Don’t worry, it’s not covid” more than once from people with colds, flu, or stomach bugs. And I remember pre-covid, when people used to stagger into work, hacking and sneezing and sharing their viruses with everyone around them, and we all just thought it was par for the course. But can we not do that anymore? Because after almost two years of not getting sick, I’d forgotten how awful even a bad cold can be, and how incredibly grumpy it makes me. And what the hell is wrong with my immune system that I’ve eluded covid for over two years but can’t fight off the common cold? Of course, I only have myself to blame really, because I wasn’t wearing a mask. Apparently, I am now going to have to wear a mask for the rest of my life because a) people can’t be trusted and b) I am very un-fun to be around when I’m sick, like the other night when Ken and I were watching Drag Race Belgium:

Ken: I didn’t know chicory was a Belgian national food.
Me: Well, apparently it is.
Ken (looking it up on his phone): Did you know that chicory is not only used as a coffee substitute but it also can be used as a sweetener?
Me: No, I didn’t know that.
Ken: The chicory we have here in Ontario has blue flowers but it’s different from this kind of chicory, which is technically Belgian endive.
Me: Uh-huh.
Ken: Ooh, you can also use it in some kinds of beer, like Belgian–
Me: Okay, Trivial Pursuit, can you stop rambling on about chicory and just WATCH THE GODDAMN TV SHOW?!
Ken (whispers): You’re so mean when you’re sick.

And then, to make matters worse, a couple of days ago, there was a news story about bird flu and how people are getting it now, and I was like, What new hell is this?! Why do birds hate us? Although frankly, I don’t blame them, and if you’ve ever had an encounter with a Canada Goose, the evil lake chicken that is our national mascot, then you’ll know I’m right. But the newscaster was like, “According to the WHO, the situation is worrying but the risk to humans is still very low.” And I don’t believe that for a moment:

Me: Are you okay?
Vendor: Yeah, but it’s not covid, I tested. It’s just the bird flu. C-caw!

See, this is why the zombie apocalypse is an inevitability. I’ve been watching The Last Of Us, which is basically The Walking Dead meets The Mandalorian, and in it, the world is infected by a mutated fungus. And just like everything else, the fungus spread because, although it was initially in the food supply, it kept going until most of the people on the planet were zombies. Why? Because a lot of the people on the planet are jerks:

Me: Are you okay?
Zombie: Yeah, but it’s not covid, I tested. Just a little mushroom thing. *tries to eat me*

And now I’m an incredibly grumpy zombie.

41 thoughts on “Going Viral

  1. Omg, I hope your feeling better. I’m with you on the sick coworker/peeps in general thing. Like why are they so fucking inconsiderate!?! I’ve yet to get COVID, thank God because I’ve been very lucky. But I’ve gotten colds, like I did during Christmas. But I’ve seen stupid people walking around coughing/sneezing without a mask in public! It drives me insane to hear them and when I do I walk away as fast as possible. P.s, chicory coffee is an acquired taste, it’s extremely bitter and very popular in the American south, particularly Louisiana and Georgia. But it tastes like….yuck to me, lol. Feel better my friend!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A coworker of mine said in a meeting (that I was fortunately joining from home) “I feel pretty sick today but I was scheduled to be in the office so here I am!” I brought that up to my boss who, at the time, was pressuring me to come into the office and she said, “It wasn’t Covid.” First of all the coworker didn’t know that when she went in. She only tested later. Second I don’t see how that makes it better. One illness can make you more vulnerable to another. Now I feel grumpy and I’m not even sick!
    Could Ken come and talk to me about chicory? I actually find his facts quite soothing. Maybe because I have childhood memories of finding chicory. Like Covid and Canada geese it’s very wide-ranging but it’s a good thing you can make beer with.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That kind of office culture is a big part of the problem–I remember working with people who didn’t want to use up their few sick days with “the sniffles” or “just a little cough” and there wasn’t a supervisor in the place who could tell them to go home. I think every office needs a goose to chase all the idiots out!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hope you’re over whatever it was now. I have a recently compiled a fairly long list of once common practices that I’m hoping will now be deleted from society. Like the whole thing about being a hero because you came into work sick (and the whole accompanying corporate mentality that encourages it,) and that practice of antiquity, shaking hands. I never did like that even in “good” times back when we were free to seek out pathogens.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, no! I’m so sorry that you got sick. I’m seeing a lot of that going around–people coughing and not using masks and saying they tested and it’s just a cold–though I do see more people wearing masks these days as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Masks forever: Yes.
    Expanding variants of diseases: Yes. (CDC now warns of shigellosis stomach bacteria.)
    Coming recession: Yes.
    WW-III: Tactical nukes deployed in contested Ukraine, growing chance.
    Zombie Apocalypse: As much as you’d like one, zombies have a serious energy problem. Even cordyceps needs energy which would dissipate within a few days after infection. (Do read The Girl With All The Gifts.)

    Masks & sunscreen, humanity’s prophylactic future.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I actually think we will eventually turn into zombies, Suzanne, if we don’t wipe ourselves out first with some other kind of virus. We’ll catch Zombie flu, which impacts the amygdala and turns us all into flight-of-flight creatures, escalating senseless aggression. Wait… maybe we already have it! Yikes. I’m getting my mask.

    And tell Ken that chicory makes great “coffee,” just don’t pull up the kind beside the highway (it’s full of toxins). 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m tired of that excuse also. And you can have it after the first test says negative so that’s not a valid response.  People behind food counters etc coughing,  not washing hands etc. creep me out.  (I don’t care if you think I’m paranoid, wear a mask😂)

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ugh, I’m sorry you had to go through that perfectly avoidable bout of illness. We use language in such awful ways. The phrase ‘a cold’ is synonymous with ‘nothing to worry about’. Preface it with ‘just’ and it’s a justification for ‘I don’t give a…flying fruit bat… about you’.
    For me and the Offspring, masks could well be here for life. Or at least until Covid really does become a survivable ‘just’. Sadly, it’s not there yet so WE are learning to protect ourselves while everyone else pretends it’s all over.
    And it’s all because, the economy…you know?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I hope you are feeling better, and I can understand the fury. I’ve always hated these so-called “just colds.”

    I still don’t understand why some people refuse to sneeze in their elbow or in a napkin. Some just turn their face away from you and sneeze in the air.

    Years ago, before covid, I went to a takeaway on my way home after work. The woman who prepared my food sneezed over it and continued as if nothing happened. I froze. I didn’t know what to say. I had never seen anything like this before. At some point, when she turned her back to me, I left without saying anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I enjoy your content; well written.
    I agree, and I had the same situation months ago. The difference is that I didn’t catch cold from my colleague.
    Before covid, we didn’t use wearing masks. But I understand it’s essential we carry on with this attitude to avoid spreading it to everyone

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve abstained from The Last of Us because the whole notion of a world-upending virus just ain’t anything I find entertaining post-COVID. LOL! I did watch Station 11 on HBO Max, though, and even though it triggered some COVID-induced PTSD, it was one of the better post-apocalyptic prestige dramas I’ve seen.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. One time I had a boss whose nickname was “Typhoid Joe” because he always came to the office when he was deathly ill. “I haven’t taken a sick day in my life,” he’d brag, and then get angry if half the staff was off sick. I wonder if he’s related to your Relax-It’s-Not-Covid associate.


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