I Don’t Get You Rhinovirus

Dear Rhinovirus,

Whatever strain or variant you may be, I really don’t appreciate you trying to camp out in my sinuses. I may not have a full blown cold yet, but I can feel you poking around in there, testing the boundaries of my immune system. Waking up with a little extra congestion this morning was kinda my first clue that you’ve come to visit–again.

You’re an unwelcome house guest, to say the least, and although I would rather have you over for tea than Norovirus or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, I still got a few bones to pick with you. And I’m not talking about the bones leftover from the chicken broth I’m preparing for your visit. Those bones are infinitely more tasty.

Anyway, first bone: You have the WORST sense of timing in the world. A sunbather putting sunscreen on after going to the beach has more sense than you do. Because you always crash my body on the weekends. And even when you do pop in during the work week, it’s always when I have a can’t-miss deadline or meeting. You might as well be a cheerleader that screams “GO TEAM!!!” when the other team scores.

Also, why do you stick around so damn long? Seriously. Most other viruses swoop in, dispense misery for a day or two, then get on with their viral lives. Not you. I won’t be able to kick you out for weeks. You’re like a TV show dragging a plot point out that should have been resolved five episodes ago. You’re a drama virus.

Finally, what’s with the mucus? Yeah, I know, that’s not your doing per se. But the only time my immune system ramps mucus production up to maximum capacity is when it’s trying to flood you out of my body. You must have a fetish for wet, sticky substances Rhinovirus, because I can’t really see what benefit you derive from encouraging my immune system to choke me with snot.

I’m sure you have reasons, evolutionary ones maybe, for doing what you do Rhinovirus. That doesn’t mean I have to like you, or let you treat my body like a hotel. I truly look forward to the day when we’ve finally figured out how to make a pill or shot that will zap your viral DNA into oblivion and send your kin fleeing to a different species. Ants perhaps. There are a lot of them. I’m sure SINV-1 would be willing to share.

But until I can go all Star Trek on your ass, I guess I’m stuck with you Rhinovirus. So go ahead and spar with my immune system for a while. It could use the exercise, I guess.

Your Disgruntled Host,

Meagen

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