It’s Just A Tickle

As the weather (finally) gets colder, I can feel the world shift from summer towards that time of the year known universally as “scratchy throat season.” You know the drill: it’s when the days get shorter, the temperature drops, and you start feeling that little tickle at the back of your throat that makes you feel as if you have to cough to clear it up.

This isn’t a new thing, of course. It happens every single year, and it’s always something that gets chalked up to the change in the weather. This is something that I’ve come to expect since childhood, with my parents explaining away any potential ailment as being due to the shift in the temperature and my body needing to come to terms with the new normal. (Well, almost any ailment; I’m pretty sure if I’d broken a bone or something that wouldn’t have been their reaction, although I couldn’t swear to it.)

The problem is, of course, this year, a scratchy throat is the one thing you really don’t want to have. If there’s one thing you really, really don’t want to be doing while out in public, it’s coughing or clearing your throat, after all. I know that firsthand after spending the last week or so having to discreetly do that, and then feeling as if I was going to have everyone turning around and facing me in shock, pointing and screaming “Diseased!” at the top of their lungs.

I get it. The paranoia is real; even when I’m out myself with a mask, I’m particularly aware when other people are coughing, or clearing their throats, or simply making any kind of noise that could suggest that they’re not 100 percent healthy. I am those paranoid types convinced that sickness is around the corner, so it stands to reason that I’m particularly conscious of when I seem like the sick one.

Perhaps I just need to make things easier; get a t-shirt made that reads, “It’s the change in the seasons, that’s all,” and point to it whenever necessary.

I mean, at least I’m still wearing a mask.

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