Last Monday morning I rolled over and I just knew! It felt like my body had been sent through a toaster oven and a washing machine, and come out a churned-up mess on the other side.
Whether it was the swine flu, or just the regular strain, the doctor couldn’t tell me, but as far as I was concerned I had just joined the ranks of victims of the most popular pandemic of the day. And I was almost pleased about it.
There’s something so unabashedly glamorous about contracting a fearsome disease, especially when you get to be by yourself and call it something dramatic like quarantine. You gain a heightened sense of importance as people cower away in the distance at the very sound of your cough. And when every feeble attempt at anything productive is met with a concerned look and a Don’t worry about that—you’re sick, convalescence grows all the more appealing.
Between popping pills and crawling to the bathroom, I must admit that my sense of the cosmic grew. I wanted to be part of something larger than myself—something that would make me feel special—something that would make me feel like a survivor. I wanted to shout from the rooftops, Look at me! I have the swine flu! Don’t you want to be sick and cool like me?
In all unromantic reality, I was boringly sick, and I hated it. Despite all the media hype, this year’s scare craze seems little more than a gross fascination with something as dull as getting the flu.