Life has things you just have to live with. One of those arises about this time of year for many people as they struggle with allergies, reactions to toxins in the air we can’t see. It is a nuisance that seems to affect our society.
When a coworker and regular reader of this space suggested writing about allergies, I balked at first and then accepted the challenge. I remembered my somewhat biased grandmother telling me once I could be the next Andy Rooney who specialized in expounding on simple topics. In both their honor, I decided to give it a shot, looking at something that really is very common.
As I thought on the topic, I started realizing just how many people are affected by allergies and how much this problem is part of our society. I don’t have a lot of firsthand experience with the issue except through my children.
Though my one experience with allergies nearly sent me to the hospital, I’m fortunate on the issue of allergies. To my knowledge, I have very few and see little effects from the seasonal allergies that affect so many.
There are also allergies to insects, poison vegetation and many other things. Many people carry small devices with them every day, ready to inject themselves immediately if needed. Failure to do so can result in serious reactions including the closing of vital airways.
Allergies this time of year are perhaps less deadly, but are equally annoying. Most are caused by pollens we can see and many we can’t. Everyone sees the yellow dust covering everything, a product of pine trees. The stuff covers our cars, clothing and just about anything else that is exposed.
Experts on the subject tell us it is the unseen pollens from oaks and other trees that actually cause the issue for most people.
A problem every year, these allergies are worse in the age of COVID-19 because of the current culture in our society. Now a sneeze in public can get you a death stare.
Come on, admit it, we have all done it at least once in the year since this major health issue started. A person sneezes and we automatically and briefly assume they must be infected with what we now know as “the virus.” We quickly hide beneath the masks that we are all forced to wear and we look for our allotted and socially distance arrow on the floor of whatever establishment we happen to be in.
Long before COVID-19, and before most of us were even around, a whole industry evolved around allergies. If you don’t believe it, check out the cold and flu section at your local pharmacy. Notice how many boxes have something about allergy relief on them. I suspect Americans spend millions of dollars each year on these products.
Like it or not, allergies will be with us long after the death of the nuisance COVID-19 virus. Those who suffer from them will continue to do so and those of us who don’t will offer our sympathies.
Now, if you have seasonal allergies and you just sneezed, God bless you.
Tom Woerner is a former reporter with The Daily Record and former editor of the Harnett County News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .