Coping with virus is revealingDoctors call them “upper respiratory infections caused by viruses.”
By: Judy Spooner, South Washington County Bulletin
Doctors call them “upper respiratory infections caused by viruses.” I had one of those last week and I call it “the worst cold, ever.”
But then, most people think they are having a worst-ever cold while in the midst of coping with one.
But not everyone accepts a virus as part of life.
How one copes, in my mind, can reveal how you look at “life.”
It starts with a tickle in your throat and sense of dread at the suffering ahead.
“I just sit, stare and sleep until the worst is over,” said daughter Margie.
The “sit, stare and sleep personality” is considered “normal coping behavior” by most psychologists.
Margie accepts what has happened and knows the situation is not under her control.
The “whiner,” however, considers getting a cold a personal affront. He or she thinks they were on a pre-determined list of people selected to get sick. “Why, me?” is their cry. “I had a cold six months ago,” they say, as if they have put in their time and should not be subjected to another cold.
The “seeker” believes all things happen for a reason and tries to determine what that reason is. They have a list of questions they ask themselves. Did they get a “chill” from going out in cold air, did they not “bundle up” on a winter day, or were they “too warm” when they entered an air-conditioned building.
None of the above is true, but the “seeker” rejects the rational and scientific explanation that someone coughed or sneezed in their presence and they inhaled a virus. It takes from seven to 10 days for the virus to incubate. Seekers don’t want to hear that so don’t bother. “I got it from that woman on the bus yesterday,” he or she will say.
Then, there is the “Typhoid Mary” lifestyle. Whatever the virus, they infect everyone in their environment. Coworkers should be prepared with medical masks and copious amounts of hand sanitizer.
The “I never get sick” person is the worst. They come to work no matter what. Secretly, they believe that they have a personal force field that repels viruses,
“I have a bad cold,” an ailing person might say.
“I never get sick,” is the reply.
What they don’t realize is that their responses imply that the congested person, with the tissue box in hand, has a character defect that failed to repel a virus invasion.
Margie said I am “super controlling” when it comes to a coping with a virus. I’m not sure the “super” is warranted.
“Mom, you go to the drug store and buy cough drops, with sugar and sugar-free, lotions and lip balms for the irritated nose you know is coming,” she said. “You buy things with zinc and anything else that promises cold relief.”
“I prefer to think of it as being open to new things,” I said.
“Uh-huh,” Margie said. “I think that’s called ‘putting a spin on it.’”
“Have you tried a mustard plaster?” she asked.
“No, thanks,” I said. “I don’t think it would help and I’d smell like a hot dog.”
Judy Spooner can be reached at email@example.com.