The second hour lunch bell rings, and instead of making my way down to my lunch table, I head to the bathroom. I’m starving and would much rather just plop down and devour a bag of pretzels, but that’s not my mind’s first priority (especially since it’s the middle of winter).
The thought of picking up my sandwich with dirty hands and then putting it into my mouth overpowers my hunger. So yes, every single day before lunch I head to the bathroom just to wash my hands. Let’s just say I use a lot of extra lotion in the winter to combat the dryness of my over-washed hands.
For two years in a row, I developed bronchitis during the winter just from a common cough. In fact, in December 2011, my cough spiraled into bronchitis on Christmas day. As an 11 year old, having to lay in bed, feeling too weak to open presents all day was the epitome of a nightmare. I guess that’s where my mild-germaphobia stems from.
A germaphobe is a person who has an extreme fear of germs and an obsession with cleanliness. I don’t consider myself an extreme germaphobe; I just consider myself someone who does everything in their power to not get sick. Yes, that’s different than a germaphobe. I do everything in my power to not succumb to sickness because I can’t stand the gross, sluggish feeling of being sick and I hate falling behind in school.
The silence of my classrooms seems to amplify every sniffle or cough, making it feel like everyone surrounding me has at least some sort of cold. In the winter, the flu viruses are more prevalent because due to their ability to stabilize itself in cold air and low humidity.
The sound of coughing is like nails on a chalkboard to me, however there are certain measures I take to assure myself that I won’t get sick. I don’t share drinks. I don’t get in my bed with any clothes other than pajamas. I take my shoes off before going into my house. I always get my flu shot. I religiously take two vitamin-C gummies everyday to boost my immune system. OK, some of these precautions may seem extreme, but if they’re keeping me from having to sniffle every 10 seconds or having a tight feeling in my sinuses I’ll take it.
I do know that getting sick at some point in your life is inevitable, and I’m sure that when I cough it drives someone else just as crazy. But for now, if I can take semi-extreme measures from getting sick, I’m going to take them – even if that means using up all the soft soap in the house. Sorry Dad.