Flu Fear

This actually happened to me over the weekend.

EHS-coughandsneeze-posterI went to CVS to get a flu shot. I signed up at the computer, which informed me I was 9th in queue. While I was signing up, I was coughing a bit. I don’t have the flu – just a little cough. My son has croup. Croup is a horrible cough that kids get – and adults can get a very minor cough from it.

There was a guy sitting next to the computer. He promptly got up and walked to the other side of the pharmacy when I coughed. I wondered if he actually had moved because I coughed. I decided he had not.

Then I went to sit down. All the chairs were over in one area. I sat down at the chair on the end, two down from the dude. I coughed again. He looked at me. I opened the ESPN app on my iPhone (Joel, I have an iPhone, no big deal). I reviewed scores and read how the Denver Broncos are going to have a lot of success when playing really bad teams. I coughed again. The Dude got up and moved down two chairs to the other end. This was done a manner that some would describe as “huffy.” Like, he got up all huffy, and stormed down to the end of the row of chairs.

I was sort of shocked that someone would actually walk further away – I was covering my mouth, coughing into my shirt. I wondered if this was how it was going to be up on the North Shore, to where we recently moved. I’m thinking maybe he has a horrible infection or for some medical, reason cannot afford to get sick. I felt sort of bad then. But I continued to read on my iPhone (Joel, you can read news and things on an iPhone).

Then a woman came and sat down next to him. He leaned real close to her and slowly, loudly, whispered “Heeee’s coughing.”

The woman whispered: “Who?”

Dude: “The guy on the other side of you… He’s coughing a lot.”

The woman turns slowly to look at me. At this point, I’m laughing, but trying to cover my laugh. It’s ridiculous.

Woman: “My god” she whispered back to the Dude.

When she said “My god” I got scared that maybe there was some infection running amok in the population. That it was on the news and I hadn’t heard. Maybe I had The Rage. Jesus. I have The Rage!!!

So I coughed again. I didn’t have to cough, I just wanted to see what they would do.  So I coughed really hard. Kind of hacked a bit – which then made me have to cough for real. You know how you do that – your fake cough can make you cough? That’s what happened.

They got up and left. They LEFT! I couldn’t believe it.

It got me thinking about how fearful we’ve become. A guy can’t cough? If I had sneezed  I would understand. Anyone who’s heard me sneeze knows the horror – it comes on quick, no warning. The output is ferocious and frightening. I get that. But coughing? It was a very dry cough, too. Not a wet yucky cough.

I have a sneaking suspicion that these people’s behavior is somehow the fault of Glenn Beck.