Special delivery from a ginger baby
I awoke today to find myself on what feels to be the slow decent into sickness. Were this a normal day, a normal season, I would inundate my gullet with bottle after bottle of orange juice, and devour a narwhal's share of Airbourne, even though I am pretty sure that both practices probably have no more than a placebo effect. Real or imagined, that ritual typically keeps me from becoming completely sick. I haven't had a full blow, hack up a bleeding lung, cerebral nostril evacuating, wish-I-was-dead, blazing fever pukathhon in about as long as I can remember. I just really don't get sick.
Yesterday, I went to my sister's ward (church) because her baby was being blessed. First, I forgot just how unbelievably noisy family wards are. What was disturbing, was the amount of noise caused by uncontrollable hacking. Seriously. At any given moment, if one stopped listening to what was being said from the pulpit, and tuned into the back ground noise, it was like a constant peal of coughing thunder, coming from all areas of the chapel.
There were 3 little ginger babies in front of me. One, about 4 years old, was folding up one of the programs into some sort of triangular shape. Which also involved a lot of slobbering upon said program, in order that he could more easily tear off unwanted sections. After watching him slobber, fold, and tear for a few minutes, he suddenly thrust the dripping triangular paper wedge in my direction and said, "I made you this boat."
Seconds later, he coughed up some of his spinal fluid into his hand. Which made me really happy that he had presented me with the infected "boat" but moments earlier. It was about that point that I began to notice all of the coughing and sniffing going on all around me. As the tray with the sacrament made its way through a veritable gauntlet of sick and dying people, I felt as though I could actually visualize the many formidable pathogens which were surely infesting the tray handle. I thought of all of the hands into which people had previously coughed, their swine flu infested fingers milling about the pile of bread for that perfect piece, leaving great swathes of sickness in a wake of holy carbohydrates.
Paranoia, you might call this.
All throughout my childhood/teenage years, I was a germophobe of the highest order. I would have probably subjected myself to waterboarding, before willingly touching a piece of raw hamburger. And raw chicken? Get out. I was more afraid of raw chicken than I was of needles or getting kidnapped by aliens. Both of which, were highly virulent fears for me. Even at 17.
Living in Argentina for 2 years, and shaking hands with people who had only moments before been petting dogs with rampant skin disease, got me over my germophobia real fast.
So typically, this church scenario would not have bothered me so much. Except for the whole H1N1 thing. And I'll admit I am at least, to an extent, buying into the government/media induced paranoia. Mostly, I'm just really really BOTHERED by the fact that so many imbeciles would show up at church in such outwardly obvious states of sickness. I noticed one woman, at the close of the meeting, stumbling her way down the aisle, ferociously coughing into her hand with EVERY STEP, hunched over like a 93 year old crone, rather than a woman of 30. If you feel like your head is packed with cotton and you couldn't stop coughing to save your life...STAY HOME. I'm pretty sure that God isn't going blow up your house with lightning for missing a week of church when stricken with the bubonic plague. For heaven's sakes, my sister can't even take her baby to church, because of these morons. It is too dangerous, because too many people are inconsiderate.
I guess what I am saying is, thanks to people "too noble to stay home from church," I have probably acquired the swine flu. I doubt any absurd amount of orange juice binging is going to make this one pass me by.
Thanks a lot, ginger baby.