Gentle readers, it is with deep sorrow that I write you this missive, because it is from my deathbed. I’ve spent the last few weeks getting my affairs in order — informing that guy I met on spring break 2016 that we have a child in the workhouse, dividing my collection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer memorabilia among a few close friends — and not a moment too soon, because I can feel myself fading away. I’m afraid it’s… the common cold.
That’s right, y’all, I’ve got the bug going around. The one your boss, all your roommates and that girl you met on Tinder who would otherwise love to have coffee sometime have all had, and it’s only a matter of time before you get. Being sick is never fun, but in a COVID world, it’s also nerve-wracking. You got your vaccine (I hope), you wear your mask (I hope), but every tickle at the back of your throat fills you with a cold, cold dread.
Without further ado, here is my official guide to surviving the common cold, now that nobody cares:
Wear a mask. Everywhere. All the time. Even to take out the garbage. It significantly cuts down on the number of scandalized looks you get every time you so much as sniffle. (An important caveat: Do not sneeze inside your mask. If you’ve never done it before, you cannot imagine how disgusting it is.)
Lean heavily on food delivery services. My disappointment was immeasurable when I realized that my mom would not be making me her magic chicken noodle soup, because she refuses to get within a hundred yards of me until she sees a negative COVID test. So I ordered the next best thing from Her Soup Kitchen, plus about six gallons of Gatorade and a box of tissues to dry my lonely tears (and blow my runny nose).
Go to the doctor. Or don’t, but don’t pretend WebMD is an appropriate substitute. No matter how many times you Google “is a sore throat a COVID symptom” or “difference between COVID and the flu,” the answer is always going to be, go get a test.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 300.