This morning on the subway, there was someone making some really gross noises. Like, sniffling constantly, coughing into a jacket sleeve, loud nose-blowing and then trying to subtly put the tissue back in her purse before anyone noticed, kind of noises. It would be really fun if this story somehow turned into me making a friend, or making a snarky comment at said sick person, but as I’m sure you’ve surmised, that person is me. I’m using this public forum to apologize to anyone that’s been in a 10-foot radius of me in the past few days, because even if you were lucky enough to escape my germs, you certainly weren’t so lucky as to escape the noises. I’ve been fighting something since the weekend, basically surviving on lots of tea and Dayquil to keep me upright and (semi-)coherent, as I wasn’t about to call out sick from work in the first week of 2015. And yes, snot bubbles and Nyquil dreams is exactly how I envisioned starting the new year.

It’s inevitable in New York City that you’ll be sick at least once in the winter. We’re like sardines in this city, packing the subways, the sidewalks and the Starbucks to capacity constantly. Even if you’re careful to use hand sanitizer and take Emergen-C, you’re just plain not going to escape a winter cold. This now being my fifth winter here, I’ve pretty much learned that the best you can do once you feel that cold coming on is to stock up on drugs and wait it out – because even if the first cold doesn’t materialize, you can bet another one will be right behind it. I’m optimistically hoping this is my big “sick” this year, and that the rest of the season I’ll just be fighting some sniffles, but that remains to be seen: New York City winter viruses take no prisoners.

Things may be quiet here until I can fight my way through whatever’s wreaking havoc on my ability to breathe through my nose and stop accidentally coughing on strangers. Or maybe I’ll take a bunch of medicine and post something later, just to see what happens. Either way, consider this a friendly reminder to take your vitamin C and avoid the gross person on the subway for as long as possible.