A cold and flu post
I know that people read this blog from all over, and that in some places (like sunny Australia) it is not cold and flu season, but here in Canada, it certainly is. I caught a bug a week ago and now have a pack-a-day hack and the energy of an omelette. Not to worry! I know that the worst will soon be over, and I’m grateful that I generally have excellent health.
But my week-plus of illness has been interesting from an almost sociological perspective. I live alone, and the cold (both the illness itself and the fact that it seems pretty contagious) has meant that I’ve had to cancel *all* social ties. I’ve basically spent the past week saying, “Four days since social contact. Five days since social contact,” and so on. I’ve also become more than usually self-sufficient. Family members have offered to bring me groceries, but the grocery store is only a block away, and I’ve been able to walk there, so I’ve told people I can get by on my own.
And I have been able to get by, but the solitude has got me thinking. There is so much written these days about the wonders of living alone, and some of this writing is (a) really good, and (b) long overdue. But weeks like this one make me realize how tough living alone can actually be. There hasn’t been anyone to bring me tea. No one to entertain me with tales of the wider world after I’ve spent the day in bed. No one to ration out cough drops when I’m on the verge of coughing up a lung. Instead, I’ve been relying on virtual company — on my email accounts, and (somewhat obsessively) on news articles online.
I’m not saying that there aren’t good things to living alone. Clearly, many people enjoy the peace and solitude such a situation can offer. But we have to recognize that not all people have chosen aloneness (I, for one, was basically kicked into it this past spring) and that living alone can be, at times, exceptionally difficult. This past week has felt like a solitary confinement experiment, and I haven’t enjoyed it. I’ve got things to do this coming week — meditation class, dinner with a friend — and I find myself hungry for companionship.
So this post is really going out to a select few: those who live alone, and who find themselves sick this winter. It’s lousy. (And a week spent alone can really remind you of lots of other periods of unchosen aloneness.) If you find yourself sick and on your own this winter, drink plenty of fluids, stay warm, and be really, really good to yourself. It will pass.
13 Responses to “A cold and flu post”
ADD A COMMENT
Your name will be published with your comments. If you do not want your name used, simply type in Anonymous or the alias of your choosing. I'm fine with people using made up names. Feel free to be creative!