I’m traveling today, even though I shouldn’t be.
As I sit here on a packed commuter train, listening to the cacophony of snorts, wheezing and snuffling, I can only imagine the vast parade of pathogens that are now making their way into my breathing space. I wince, and search for an escape route as we fly through the city. A moment later I remember, and then relax. I am already afflicted. It can’t get much worse than what I’ve already been through.
On Friday I was supposed to make my way downtown to pick up supplies for a project I’m currently working on. As soon as I exited the shower I knew something was wrong. By the time I dressed, I was certain I wouldn’t be going anywhere except the local clinic. A quick temperature reading led me to believe my suspicions were correct.
Dizziness and general malaise, check.
Panic settled in as I knew travel was on the horizon.
At the clinic they did a quick flu test to see if I was to be considered a social pariah for the next week. The doctor called me back into the examination room after he scrubbed the inside of my sad little nose with a miniature bottle brush. That was painful enough, but adding insult to injury, he ceremoniously proclaimed “it’s A type!”
As if I were a losing contestant on a game show, he rattled off my list of consolation prizes for the week, and made me inhale the anti-viral drugs (which I am truly grateful for).
It is custom for a victim of influenza to be on “house arrest for at least 7 days following diagnosis. My eyes welled up, I began to protest “but, I have a flight to catch on Tuesday!!”
The doctor just looked at me, shrugged, and showed me the door.
I’ll be honest, I’m only on day 5, and I’m leaving for Ireland anyway. If international havoc and epidemic break forth from Western Europe, it was probably my fault.