Spurning the flu’s advances

As the Valentine’s Day season embraces us, and with it young spring’s eternal promise of love, the author feels it necessary to end her relationship with illness. Photo by Paulina Martin

Dear flu,

We have had a good run, but I think it is time I put an end to this. We have grown apart, and if you stay any longer it will only end up hurting me more. I just hope you understand how badly you hurt me … actually, I’m writing this to you in hopes you will understand.

It started with the tears. Each time I blew my nose, tears streamed down my face. I was so annoyed with you because the sniffles pestered me every minute of every day for the past week.

Do you know what it’s like having to walk around cradling a box of tissues? Do you know the embarrassment I felt as I dribbled with snot? Of course you don’t.

And then came the fear. Every time I walked into a room, I was shunned. No one would come near me because I was an infectious unit; everything I owned was infected and I carried my germs with shame.

As I walked into buildings, I kept my head down and walked fast. You will never know how much it hurt me to walk away from my friends.

Finally came the loneliness. I sought help from the doctor, but all she told me to do was to stay away from people and to remain alone in my room.

I did as she asked. I now understand what Ariel felt in the Little Mermaid as she called out, longing to be where the people are.

You have caused me to lose a week of my life, a week I will never get back. The time I lost with friends, the time I lost on work: These are things that you will never be able to make up for or give back to me.

I just spent the weekend trying to catch up on all the work I missed. Each hour I spent hidden away, secluded from society, I cursed your name for the harm you have brought me. You take and you take, but never once have you given me anything.

Well, I’m writing to let you know that I’m done giving. I’m done letting you rule my life.

I step out of my room this morning, on my first day back to classes, better. I am better than I was yesterday, and I will continue to get better every day until my immunity is finally 100 percent back.

But till then, I’ll fight for my health. I’ll fight till I’m invincible, till you will no longer be able to ruin my life.

Love (not really),



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