5 things I figured the hard way after a recent bout of viral flu:

  • If the person besides you at a social event demonstrates signs of throat irritation, cold, or cough, be very concerned. If the said person talks about a viral infection that’s going around the workplace, its probably too late. Don’t just stand there and nod. Get away. Grimacing and running away may not be entirely inappropriate.
  • If you are still standing there trying to engage in polite conversation, welcome to a week or more of realizing how an invisible virus can bring you to a state of complete and miserable helplessness. It is, strangely enough, a very humbling experience.
  • The thing with the flu is that it comes in stages. Stage 1 is that of confusion: are these really symptoms? Stage 2 is brutal self-realization. Stage 3 is confusion, again – where you begin to feel you are recovering, but you are just less worse off than the day before. Stage 4 is when the virus demonstrate some more tricks to mess with you – unexpected headaches, on-and-off chills. Stage 5 is when you are well enough to write about your misery.
  • If you have the flu, you are a threat to society. Avoid anyone that’s not wearing a white coat. Lock yourself up, watch TV, count sheep if you like. But keep away from meeting others, and under no circumstance oblige another with the prospect of face-to-face conversation.
  • If an illness does one thing well, it is to make you feel very homesick.
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