#Pocalypso | I’ve Had a Cough for Years

2020-04-16 – I have a chronic cough. No, I don’t have COVID-19. Even the hypochondriac in me doesn’t think I have COVID-19 (Hypochondriac in me: “Speak for yourself!”). I’ve always had the cough. Sometimes, it’s just a tickle. But sometimes, over the winter, it gets worse. And, in Chicago, winter means November to May—at least.

So I had a little trouble filling out a university survey the other day. The survey asks about various symptoms plus other information that might be related to the epidemiology of this pandemic. And, of course, one of the questions was: “Do you have a cough?” I said yes.

It then asked about the dryness of the cough—like wine. Mine is demi-sec.

And then the troublesome question. It asked how long I’ve had the cough. In DAYS! I got out my calculator and prepared to answer 25,000 (the round number is to disguise the fact that I used a calculator—a sort of insouciant inexactness).

But there wasn’t enough room in the box to enter 25,000 (not even if I left out the comma). So I said: 30 days.

In addition to symptom questions the survey asked social distancing questions. In various ways, it asked how many people I had been in contact with. For each, my answer was: 0.

Fortunately, it didn’t ask how many days I’d been social distancing. I don’t think the box would have been large enough for me to enter: 25,000.

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