One cold is all it takes to send me to the hospital these days. And when my daughter or my wife gets sick, it becomes a game of “stay away from daddy.” No hugs. No driving in the same car. We order take out. No eating at dinner table together. No touching cabinet handles or door knobs with a bare hand for me. My wife sleeps in a different room. The dogs pick sides at night, though they’re both rather sleep with my wife. Join the club, mutts. Join the club. What self-respecting Labrador would pass up a bed for a couch?
I’ve lived like this the past 10 days because my daughter caught a cold, then gifted it to my wife. Now I avoid both of them like we’re playing a game of tag and they’re it. I stay a minimum of 3 or 4 feet away and hope I don’t bump into a stray germ floating in the air, or stuck to a surface, waiting. It’s such an uncomfortable feeling to fight an enemy you can’t see. It creates a hyper-state of awareness in me-was that sneeze the first sign? Did that cough feel different? Am I feeling “off” today? Tick tock, tick tock.
So I wait.
How many times in the past have I thought, “I made it, I didn’t get” only to be fooled at the last minute?
I need someone to invent “germ-be-gone” glasses. They would include a powerful laser to burn away bacteria and viruses. Now that would be awesome. Until then, I navigate the germ maze in my house and cross my fingers one of those little bastards isn’t going to latch on to me and send me to jail for two weeks. Tick tock.