The Life of Ill


I will get any illness going through Pittsburgh. It’s unavoidable. And I’m sure Walgreens, RiteAid, and CVS are thrilled about.

I’m like a major city in the United States for catching illnesses where multiple major highways converge. The flu? I’m gonna get. A stomach virus? Had it! The mystery illness that no one could explain? Oh, I can share!

Now, my immunity is fine. Fairly good. If I get sleep, cutback on caffeine, and go to bed at a decent hour, I’m good to go all day. My ability to catch illnesses isn’t because I have a poor health foundation. I have an immunity castle.

But even the strongest fortress can’t withstand the constant barrage of illness after illness after illness coming your way on a weekly basis. There are three ways I’m getting sick and you can attibute these to 1) being an educator, 2) being a parent, and 3) working in a building where everyone gets sick.

First, if you work with kids, you will get sick. This is because kids get sick and child illness spreads faster than a hilarious photo on Twitter. And since kids get everything, sitting in your class at 8am in the morning, it’s like looking at a zoo… of contagious diseases. And your co-workers don’t help out either, because they work with kids too.

Next, say the sick child is, I don’t know, your child. Then you get the fun of being around your kiddo and their germs in your own home as they leave samples on your furniture, your phone, door knobs, and, you know, everywhere. Oh, and you get to enjoy the illness storm at night too. Why? Because a sick child is a clingy child. Expect to be sharing a bed at night with your sick offspring. You’ll be warm throughout the night as your kiddo mouth breathes inches from your face. Delightful.

Finally, if you can imagine that young children get sick often, so does the other side of the age spectrum – older people. Now, I’m not going to make a joke here. I work in a building where, above my offices, is a community and recreation center for older folks. Oh, and do not – DO NOT – call it an “old folks home”. Very kind people. However, with weakened immunities, the folks upstairs get sick quite a bit. Since the air ducts shares the air throughout the building, I’ll get any air-borne illnesses.

Yeh, so, just…. yowzer, what a situation I’m in. In fact, I’ve been off and on sick for two weeks. Sore throat. Coughing. Stuffed up nose. Headache. Nausea. All that good stuff.

Let’s hope my health – and all of those around me – get’s better. Because, if I’m watching the news and they’re sharing about some kind of weird, super contagious, bed-riddening illness with side effects of diarrhea and vomitting, I’ll be saying to myself “I’m gonna get that!”



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