The cold season has taken over, both outside and within our bodies. At the onset of a cold, you could start sneezing. You could feel it coming and get time to prepare for it by say, grabbing a kerchief or a tissue.
At times, it hits you suddenly and you could be forced to cover your mouth with your bare hands to block any nasal fluids from splashing over anyone in the vicinity. If either because of old age, a medical condition, or frequent use in privacy, your sphincter muscles are not as strong and supportive (like my floppy breasts tissues), you could sneeze, and at the same time, involuntarily release a fart!
Now that the ceremonial sneezes have officially welcomed the virus into your life, you could begin to feel some moisture inside your nose. This moisture is just but a wet, loose flow of thin, clear mucus that enjoys making a silent journey from your nose to your chin without calling attention to itself.
You will only realise that the sneaky, watery bastard has made a complete fool of you, in front of people who respect and revere you, when you taste something salty on your lips when speaking.
Because it is light, you will hardly notice the disrespectful stream of mucus trickling down in an exciting adventure to embarrass you when in the middle of giving your dirtiest employee a stern lecture on personal hygiene.
Depending on who you are as a person, you could (attempt to) sniff the disorderly fluid back inside the nose. Or you could use a handkerchief, or the hem of your shirt to wipe it off and/or blow your nose.
Side note: While you could use a cloth to absorb the unwanted moisture, you may also encounter one with a running nose who has absolutely no need for a handkerchief. This walking, living infection has chosen to deal with the leaking tap on their face by emphatically sniffling every three seconds.
The annoying, broken record is not bothered by their own strange determination to hold onto the mucus, which desperately wants to be set free, and so, with the help of their facial muscles, they pull the escaping fluid back inside their nose with all their might.
This noisy human faucet will sniff; and then sniff; and then sniiiff; the ‘last’ sniff being a longer and harder hefty draw of air and the accumulating snot. And they could shock you when you offer them a tissue and they refuse, insisting that they are fine.
Depending on the flow of the mucus, blowing your nose could be a mild huff and a quick wipe, or a loud, forceful, drawn-out blare like a trumpet heard by anyone within a one kilometer radius. As you blow your nose like a loudspeaker, you startle those around you, while the horrifying sounds of the thick, heavy mucus leaving your nose makes them squirm with nausea.
After that mother blow, again, depending on who you are as a person, you might not open your handkerchief to inspect the slimy contents before – if satisfied with the blow job – folding it and wiping the inside of your nose thoroughly, leaving your handkerchief wet and disgusting.
But instead of relief, you might feel your nose getting stuffed. With clogged nasal passageways, you are forced to breathe through your dry mouth, which is most uncomfortable when you’re trying to sleep and haven’t yet adjusted to the new unfavourable breathing conditions, and your nostrils may decide to add to your suffering by taking turns getting stuffed, one after the other.
Meanwhile, your sense of smell is impaired, and one can use and spray your ‘special’ perfume or cook pilau under your very nose without you ever finding out. Likewise, your sense of taste is temporarily damaged; nothing tastes good, and everything tastes the same.
As the cold or flu progresses fast, coughing is inevitable, and it could announce its coming using the help of a sore throat. Without your permission, your throat begins to feel like the Kalahari desert, as though dust and sand is trickling down your windpipe.
You will clear your irritable throat every few seconds looking for some relief, until the ‘ha-M!’ gradually develops into a full-blown, bronchial ‘O-ho!’ complete with some phlegm for you to- depending on who you are as a person – spit out or swallow; and as you cough out your poor lungs, hacking and wheezing your respiratory health away, your chest may sound like a drum.
The brutal coughs might eventually cause pain to your abdominal muscles, making it a bad idea for you to laugh.