The flu has arrived in the house, knocking down both Adam and Mireya. I, however, remain healthy.
Being the only one without the flu is a little like being the designated driver at Wurstfest. Not that being sick is as fun as being drunk (although at the end of the evening, the stomach issues can be remarkably similar). But when you are the well one — or the sober one — you have to be the grown up. You have to keep everybody safe, make sure they don’t fall into a large body of water, and practically tuck them in at night.
There is one big difference, of course. It’s fairly easy to avoid drinking, it’s a whole other thing to avoid having anyone breathe on you.
I’m not saying it’s noble to stay in the same room with a bunch of sick people because they miss talking to you or would like to relate how miserable they are. But being the one well person in the vicinity of the flu people is definitely an under-appreciated act of sacrifice.
I wish I had a wee bit more of the caretaker attitude in me, but boy howdy, this flu is a nasty one. I’ve seen this flu take down people with the immune system of a lumberjack. People who normally could bench press small cars can barely pick up a tissue box. Those sick, flu-filled, germy people are drawn to our shiny wellness like a queasy drunk to a pair of new leather pumps.
The scariest part is there’s a part of me that knows when I get within five feet of these people, people I normally love, it’s all over. These shuffling flu monsters are going to take me down, no matter how much essential oil and vitamin C I chug.
Before I drove home on Monday, I found myself angling for a trip out of town. I mean, come on, would it be so bad if a work trip suddenly came up that required me to stay in a clean room where they make silicon chips for computers? You know the ones where everyone wears a paper suit and booties and where whooshes of air blast all the germs off of you before they’ll let you inside. I could stay there for a week or two until this whole thing blows over.
Of course, there is a reason we are designated drivers, isn’t there? Because someday, it’ll be our turn be driven home safely. Someday we’ll need to tell someone about how our back hurts from coughing and how our nose won’t stop running.
But that still doesn’t stop me from dreaming about paper suits and booties.