for the past 2 weeks, i feel like i've been on a perpetual and never-ending airplane ride. one that just keeps taking off and landing, only those 2 actions. in actuality, i haven't travelled or gone anywhere, but my ears have been constantly plugged up. i keep trying to pop my ears by clicking my jaw, which ends up making me look like fish.
this winter is turning out to be more hazardous than any winter before it that i've experienced in the past. everyone in my household seems to be on rotating shifts of getting sick and being in my house feels like visiting the sick ward of a hospital. i just barely avoided a severe cough and cold (after self-medicating with Robitussin and Zicam for 10 days) and now i feel another itch in my throat that is quickly developing into a cough.
oddly enough, i've never been squeamish about being around sick people (at least when it's people that i know). i possess a completely unfounded confidence that i won't get sick, even when i interact with sick people. however, as soon as i feel even a twinge of illness in my own body, i get into hyper-defense mode and bombard myself with Airborne and Zicam hoping to head off the impending illness.
it seems i've become a hypochondriac in my old age (but only when i start to feel ill.).
i have to add a caveat to the above statement about not getting squeamish around sick people. i get COMPLETELY squeamish around sick strangers or people i don't care about. hence, flu and cold season on a NYC subway is not exactly a fun situation for me. however, MOST new yorkers maintain a level of etiquette while out in public. then there was the Cougher i met last week.
i was on the platform waiting for the E train to arrive on my usual morning commute to work. the train arrived and it was packed like a sardine. of course we all tried to squeeze our way onto the train but it was definitely impossible just as i got to the front of the crowd. i let the doors close and waited for the next one. i realized i was dangerously close to the edge of the platform and tried to back up and realized a woman behind me who was staunchly standing in her spot, refusing to move and refusing to let me back away from the edge of the platform. it took more effort and a blatant shove to get myself even 2 centimeters back from the edge. clearly, the woman was not happy with what i'd done. so she proceeded to cough violently all over me. although she had nothing in her hands, she did not cover her mouth. so while being all pressed up on me, she proceeded to cough all over me for a good minute. GROSS. that is just not acceptable behavior, particularly in NY (or anywhere else really).