It's nothing bad, I hope. Pretty sure it's just a head cold. But it sucks, regardless.
Having made it to post-pandemic life, it now seems in poor taste to whine about something as mild as a cold. There's not going to be much sympathy for the common cold after we've spent three years trying to duck and cover from airborne cooties with the potential to send you to the hospital or worse.
This is disappointing for someone like me, a well-trained and highly gifted whiner. I humbly request: (a) my mommy, (b) a bowl of chicken noodle soup, and (c) maybe a "Planet of the Apes" marathon.
Say what you will about masks, but for those two years when most of us were wearing them, I didn't catch so much as a sniffle. Since I stopped wearing mine on the daily, I've managed to contract COVID, the flu, and now this rotten cold. My body has essentially become a winter rental for vacationing viruses. I'm pretty sure my sinuses are listed on Airbnb. I think I miss masks.
People are also reading…
You know what else I miss? The ability to call in sick to work. Once upon a time, if you felt lousy, you could call your boss and say, "I feel icky. I'm not coming in today." Your boss would then say something like, "That's a shame. Get some rest and feel better!" Today, I called my boss and said, "I feel icky. I'm not coming in today." And my boss said something like, "That's a shame. Good thing you're still set up to work from home!" (Note to self: research who invented the remote desktop and send them a harshly worded e-mail.)
I've now spent three days working from home, and it didn't take long to remember the pros and cons.
PRO: The break room here has much better snacks.
CON: I can't taste anything and all food sounds disgusting.
PRO: I have a proper desk in my basement office that's an ideal setup to work from home.
CON: Too bad I'm not using it. I've found I much prefer belly-flopping onto my living room couch, where I am presently sprawled out in the least ergonomic manner possible. I am in full beached-whale mode.
PRO: That last one wasn't a con. Beached whale life kinda rules.
CON: Except for one thing. I'm used to sitting in front of two oversized monitors where I can have umpteen open documents, allowing me to multi-task all the live-long day. When I work from home, I have a teeny tiny laptop that I have to squint to even see what I'm doing. I might have to buy a pair of cheaters on my next drug store run (and that, friends, is the most fuddy-duddy sentence I've ever uttered in my life.)
PRO: The office is sadly lacking in cats. As I type this, there's currently one asleep on my back.
CON: When I got up a few minutes ago to grab a soda, my cat decided to take a leisurely stroll across my keyboard, which in turn caused an e-mail to go out to my most important client which read, and I quote, "fjjkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkbn".
PRO: I just had a productive 8-hour work day while unshowered, pants-free, and wearing a ratty t-shirt.
CON: I was so loopy from cold medicine that I forgot about our department-wide Zoom meeting, which left me five minutes to dive into a sweater, wet my hair down, and try my best to NOT look like a degenerate on camera. I don't think I fooled anyone.
PRO: Working from home can be relaxing and productive.
CON: But not when you have Kleenex shoved up both your nostrils and Vicks smeared on your chest. Even the cats are keeping their distance now.
All things considered, it's actually been pretty nice to work from home this week. When lunch hour hits, I can just roll over and take a nap. I actually had an Amazon order overnighted to my home address without fear of the porch larceny that often beats me home from work. And being able to work from home has kept me from focusing on how terrible I feel, which is what makes me whiny in the first place.
I don't think I could do this full time, though. I miss human interaction and I've already started to go a little stir-crazy. Today I caught myself holding a full and detailed conversation about work with my cats and asking their opinion on how I should best proceed. Their consensus opinion was "meow." Also keep in mind that I'm talking to cats through laryngitis AND a fully plugged nose, which makes me sound like a sad cartoon character on his last legs. Except I'm not even ON my last legs, because I'm sprawled out like a beached whale on the couch.
Hopefully, in a few days, I'll be back in fighting form, ready to rejoin society. Until then, it's Kleenex and Netflix and bedrest (err, couch-rest) for the foreseeable future. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some sneezing I've been meaning to get to.
Shane Brown writes for the Dispatch-Argus and Quad-City Times. Contact him at email@example.com.