Patient Zero

I very rarely get sick. I think my last cold might have been in 2016? Can’t tell you the exact date, other than, literal years ago. So when I felt a tickling sensation in my throat late last week, I didn’t pay it much attention.

Until I started coughing.

Even then, I was in denial. But by Monday morning, it was painfully obvious: I had a full-fledged cold.

Well, crap.

It’s amazing how quickly I pivoted from “I am not sick!” to “Babe, I think I might have that coronavirus. Could be the avian flu or mad cow disease, though. Maybe there’s some weird hybrid of the three and I am Patient Zero.”

Fortunately, I have a job that allows me to work from home, which is why I have been ensconced at the kitchen table for the past two days with a laptop, hot soup, and Dayquil. Turns out I picked a pretty good time to get sick, because it started snowing Monday morning around 10 a.m. and didn’t let up…yet. 27 hours later it’s still coming down a little, but the sun is finally breaking through the clouds and it appears those flurries are down to their last gasp. I’m not sure what our snowfall total is exactly; we had 8″ on the ground at 6 a.m. and it snowed at least another 1-2″ after that. Calling it 10″ certainly isn’t exaggerating.

The good thing about all this snow (which ended up being way more than predicted)? We finally got to use our snowblower. Yes, I am sick, and probably shouldn’t have gone out there to clear the driveway and sidewalk. But snowblowers have gas-powered engines and pistons and carburetors. Testosterone boosters, all of them. I’ve been chomping at the bit to try ours out and wasn’t about to let a little thing like a cold stop me.

To be honest, those initial five minutes turned into a comedy of errors as I tried to figure out first how to start it, and then how to operate it. Even the damn snow chute was causing me all sorts of grief. I’d be aiming it at places I had just cleared, or into the wind, where it came blowing back into my face. I turned the snowblower off to regroup, and then promptly flooded the engine when attempting to restart it. All our neighbors were out, clearing their own driveways. I’m sure they were laughing at me.

But I got it started again, learned how to work the controls and where to aim the flying snow, and within minutes had mastered the beast. Tara took over shortly, because again, I didn’t want to push my luck. Gotta say though, this thing is slick and did a great job clearing almost a foot of wet snow. What took us 10 minutes with the snowblower would have taken 45 minutes shoveling. Thanks again, mom and dad! This truly is a gift that will keep on giving.


I don’t feel quite as bad as I did yesterday, but will probably need a third day of recovery at home before I feel up to returning to the office. And because I never let a little thing like a cold ruin my day, I told Tara not to be surprised if she finds me nursing a glass of wine this evening.

Alcohol does kill germs, right?!

32 thoughts on “Patient Zero

  1. Alcohol will kill the germs but so does wasabi, which I slathered on my sushi lunch at 230 pm and it cleared ever last germ in all of my head cavities! Omg… (I drank a gallon of water after that fiasco). 🙂


    1. You know, that would probably work…but I refuse to venture out for sushi. My car probably couldn’t even make it down the hill until the plows come. I did try some Vick’s VapoRub last night and that worked within seconds.


  2. So glad to hear you’re feeling better, Mark? Don’t you just hate having a cold because it’s not enough to immobilize you, but they’re so annoying.

    I’m also happy to read the your snowblower works well. Btw, that’s a great photograph!

    And trust me, wine is faaaaaaabulous for a cold. So drink up. Cheers! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry you feel lousy, but I’m just a little jealous that you got to use your snowblower. Ours is sitting in the garage, all ready for a big snow yet we’ve not had more than an inch or two of snow. But you? You’re out there throwing snow like a pro. Good job

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can so relate to the snowblower stuff, but it never seems to get easier for me! I hope you feel better soon! I’ve been using hand sanitizer like crazy.

    Thanks for sending your snow our way. NOT.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. You’re…welcome?

      Another tricky thing is just turning the snowblower around. It’s so heavy and unwieldy, I’m still trying to figure out the best approach. Still haven’t mastered that yet.


    1. Well, I took one for the team anyway and did have wine. Can’t say it made a difference either way, though it made me feel better so that’s a win. Glad I could entertain you with my lack of snowblower knowledge.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I lived in Minnesota for 40 years and I hated snowblowers, but the older I got the heavier the snow got and the more they made sense to me.

    Now I live in Cornwall. It rains all the time but I don’t have to shovel it.

    Feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ‘It’s amazing how quickly I pivoted from “I am not sick!” to “Babe, I think I might have that coronavirus. Could be the avian flu or mad cow disease, though. Maybe there’s some weird hybrid of the three and I am Patient Zero.” That is my thought process as well! But we won’t die. And if we are home in quarantine, more time to write!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I read an article this morning that talked about how being a freelance writer is the best job for a pandemic. Even a regular writer is probably a close second because I can still avoid people for weeks at a time if necessary and still get work done. Score!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh good, you got to use it! 😀
    I am sorry you got a cold. The last cold I had, I hadn’t had one in years, so I understand your surprise. I kept thinking I was getting a cold and it kept being something worse. *awkward laugh*. I usually end up with fevers or weird sicknesses. *shrug*

    Liked by 2 people

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