During times like these, I wish I had stock in the companies that make Kleenex and Pepto Bismol. This flu season started out quite mildly, but then some sort of perfect storm occurred, and now millions of Americans have various horrible illnesses. And I am one of them. As a matter of fact, I can proudly claim to have gotten not only a flu shot, but at least two distinct strains of flu virus. I feel like an overachiever.
Suffice it to say that if you want a run-down of symptoms, you can just Google around for fun. I will just say this: there was a need for Robitussin at one point. And at another point, I spent quite a lot of time in the bathroom, and started wishing I was one of those Americans who are proud to own firearms, because I wanted to shoot myself.
However, the whole saga at my house is interesting only because I have a spouse who is scheduled to have hernia surgery (for the third time; he also is an overachiever) in ten days. While I was languishing in bed, trying not to moan too loudly, I did a little Googling myself. And what I discovered was life changing.
I am contagious. Not just while I feel like a plague victim. Oh, no. I will continue to be contagious for THREE WEEKS. You read that right. Apparently the virus that causes the Pepto Bismol people to jump up and down with glee is very hard to eradicate. It lives on surfaces for weeks. It is not susceptible to antibacterial cleaners. It’s a virus. Viruses can laugh at antibacterial products. Clorox is the only thing that can kill the norovirus (such a benign name!).
So here we are at my house. One wife, pale, and wan, but starting to perk up. One husband, imagining what it would be like to have abdominal surgery only to come home and get a dastardly virus. Anxiety builds. So I, being the take charge person that I am, make a plan from my sickbed. One to protect my spouse.
I am allowed three rooms in the house: my bedroom (he has moved to the guest room), the master bath, and the television room, where I have to sit on “my” sofa, and never touch the remote control unless I have a Clorox wipe in my hands (Another good stock for those of you with investment portfolios).
He gets the rest of the house, including the kitchen, where I am not allowed to touch anything. And in case I wander in there by force of habit, there is a small bottle of Clorox solution in the ready, to be sprayed liberally in my wake.
It seems to be working. However, my husband seems a little scared to talk to me. He is keeping a respectful distance, and we spend a lot of time conversing with one another on our cellphones. From different rooms.
There has been one real benefit for me. For the first time in years, I am not allowed to cook ANYTHING. I get my meals prepared for me, and I don’t have to clean up afterwards. It is such a luxury. However, there is a small downside. When dinner is ready, he calls me on my cellphone, and I literally have to “come and get it.” It is on a tray in a neutral zone. One that is easily Cloroxed. Luxurious but a little lonely.
Did I mention that he accidentally bleached the cuffs of his favorite corduroys while disinfecting? And that I may have to burn my bedding?
My phone is ringing—sorry, I have to take this. It’s lunch time.