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To Kiss ... Or Not to Sneeze?

To Kiss ... Or Not to Sneeze?


It was a big snow day in New York on Monday! The trains were down, the buses were shot, even the snow plows were buried. About a foot and half of snow fell in most parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan — which is a lot of powder for these parts. A lot of the adults I know got a snow day, anybody trying to go anywhere was likely to have a treacherous journey. 

Sweet Pants and I were both working from home, but he was quite sick, so I trekked over to his place mid-day (in red rain boots and plenty of layers) to give him a quick hug. I figured I wouldn't get what he had ... mainly because I'd just had it: He was complaining of a cough and an achey feeling, the same symptoms I'd experienced the week before. 

(During my time as a sneeze machine, I told S.P. I'd understand if he wanted to keep his distance from me, but he said he never got sick, so he'd be fine. I conceded that it was true that he probably would be, if only because a person is usually contagious in the first two or three days of a cold, and I hadn't seen him for the first 48 hours of mine.)

When I arrived at his house to give him a hug, however, it seemed clear he was suffering from some different illness. The heat was radiating from him like he was a furnace; I could feel it on my face, coming off his cheek, and on my body, too, coming right through his clothes. "You're burning up, pal," I told him. 

"But I feel so cold." He shivered. "I've had the chills all morning." 

Hot as he felt, his fever didn't seem terribly bad — his eyes were clear and he'd been out of bed for most of the morning — so I told him to take a couple of aspirin, drink plenty of fluids, rest, and think about going to the doctor if things got any worse. Then I left for Snow Journey 2: The Return, so I could get back home and do some work. 

I hope Sweet Pants gets better soon — in part because I'm scared that I might get the fever too! 

How do you guys handle it when your lover has a cold? Are you like Ben-Hur, who walked straight into the leprosy den so he could rescue his beloved mother and sister? (Um, yes, I watched a little too many Turner Classic Movies with my dad while I was visiting him for the holidays.) Or do you require a face mask, plastic gloves, and surgical scrubs before you'll give the contagious person in your life as much as an air kiss?


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