The Chicken Cold
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Color me lucky. I'm now a survivor of the 2006 influenza virus. You all can stop wearing the rubbery bracelets.

And yes, it was the flu. Not some cold or other wimpy virus. The flu. I can't think of any other malaise that we refer to in the singular like we do the influenza virus. No one sniffles, "I've got the cold." The doctor even warned me to be careful while I'm recovering from "the flu", because my immune system is weak, and I'm susceptible to catching "a pneumonia."

As a side: We're living in a world of technology that allows people to reshape their eyes with lasers, access the cordless internet in McDonalds, and buy seats on space shuttles, but our flu test is still painfully ramming a long Q-tip into a patient's nose before the nurse makes the patient fully aware what's about to happen?

Monday and Tuesday are a feverish blur to me. Luckily, I didn't empty my stomach as often as I remember doing in my childhood bouts with the flu. I was mainly just so tired and weak that I just wanted to sleep, but too achey and fevered to be comfortable enough to doze. I was essentially in a 24-hour toss-and-turn(-and-sweat-and-cough).

I also had a rough cough and lots of congestion. Two things I don't remember being linked with the flu. One of my clients decided today that I had a bad strain of the "chicken cold". I laughed and nodded, secretly uncertain what that meant. Later he clarified to someone else that didn't nod that, "the chicken flu was a bad version of the flu, so he has the chicken cold".

The chicken cold.


Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Actually, the flu and a cold are both singular. We just change from a definite to an indefinite article.

I don't know why there's a difference there--it's probably syntactical, but from a medical perspective, it's accurate, since researchers have discovered that the common cold really isn't common at all, but about 100 different viruses. Yes, there are variants of influenza viruses, but they are much easier to track, and most of the time, an area is populated by just one, so you actually do have the [particular] flu.

Man, the crap I know...

Speaking of singulars and plurals, what do you call someone who plays for the Miami Heat? Is he a Hot? What if he catches a cold? Does that make him merely Lukewarm? Should they change the name on his jersey?

I need answers!

Glad you're on the mend.


3/01/2006 4:18 PM  
Blogger Clint said...

You're right. I wasn't thinking grammar when I used the word 'singular', and I should have been.

I'm glad to be on the mend, too. I feel like I lost a week of my life. (and so do my clients)

3/04/2006 6:47 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home