A surreptitious wave of illness has fallen upon my home. I don't know how or when the germ cluster infiltrated my house, but it has made everyone sick.
Though not all at once. As it is, the germ cloud has taken turns on each of us and no one remains healthy long enough to allow the others to recover fully and therefore eradicate the scourge. These germs get passed on as if they were some cruel relay race in which nobody (except pharmaceutical companies) wins.
It happens at least once a year, that cyclical black hole month in which germs remain trapped in the same household and are recycled like the stale, skin-chafing air conditioning of a transatlantic flight. It's a battle of wits to see who will remain immune to this anomaly in which perfect health is a long-gone memory. My home should be stamped with a bio-hazard sticker as a warning to those who dare approach it.
It all started when my grandmother became the first victim of this travelling swarm.
After her body was swept in the swirling germ cloud, she sat in her armchair, coughing and sneezing, and requesting that hot beverages to be supplied to her.
The germ cloud targeted my mother as their second victim. Poor Mom spent four entire days camping out on the couch wrapped in a fleece blanket and watching a slew of episodes of her nightly lengthy-titled Spanish-language soap operas.
Then with the first indication that my body was starting to feel under the weather, I received an encrypted message from the germ cloud hovering in the living room.
Fortunately, my survival instincts kicked in.
To battle the onslaught of the germ apocalypse, I began hoarding vitamin C tablets and imbibing gallons of orange juice in quantities that were reminiscent of the 1999 Y2K hysteria. Remember when rumors predicted that all computers were going to crash at the turn of the millennium and you amassed packets of double A batteries and stored your basement with canned goods and created a fort using toilet paper rolls?
I don't because my house is below sea level (no basement).
But I did build an empire using nothing but navel oranges. To be on the safe side, I even camouflaged myself as an orange and hid on the kitchen counter to deceive those unsuspecting germs.
With my clever disguise, I had evaded the impossible! I remained healthy!
But then my grandmother got sick. Again. She was fraught with terrible coughs that wracked her frail body and made it nearly impossible for her to speak in complete sentences.
Then my mother felt under the weather. AGAIN.
A few days passed and nothing happened to me. For one moment, I thought that I escaped and was going to be spared from the illnesses a second time and remain healthy.
Remaining healthy? I should have known that I had better odds of winning the lottery.
Now I'M sick. Complete with chills, fever, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, aches and pains. Who needs medicine when my symptoms match those of a disclaimer for an experimental pill's side effects?
So what is yours truly doing to recuperate from being ill?
If I'm lucky, my house will be illness-free by March 2017. In the meantime, does anybody have a bowl of chicken soup to give to my family? We've run out of the stuff. Again.
Barb the French Bean