Casper: Is Coughing in Public the Most Annoying Byproduct of the Pandemic?
I hate coughing in public now. This may seem very trivial to some, but it's something that gives me a great deal of anxiety on a daily basis and actually has ever since the global pandemic first started.
Full disclosure, I'm a germaphobe already. I wash my hands so often that I have to keep lotion handy at all times or else my skin will literally crack and bleed. Wyoming's dry climate doesn't help this at all either. You add in how contiguous COVID-19 is (and all its current variants), and I feel like Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory.
I was starting to feel less self conscious (see also: paranoid), about the whole coughing in public thing until a recent trip Wyoming Hot Wings. Whilst patiently waiting for my order, I was playing on my phone. While I was scrolling through social media, some nerd culture meme caused me to actually laugh out loud. The problem was, I was already in the midst of clearing my throat. The human body doesn't always know how to respond to separate actions taking place in the same spot at the same time, so I ended up choking on my own spit, which in turn made me cough.
With me already being self conscious about coughing in public, especially food establishments, I tried to hold it in, which of course only it made it worse.
The coughing episode lasted about 30 seconds, which is about 28 seconds too long. I glanced around and none of the other patrons were looking at me funny, although it felt like they were quietly judging me.
My point is, after talking to friends, family and coworkers, I'm not the only spaz that worries about this. You would think that would make feel better, but it doesn't. Maybe it's because I too quietly judge every cough, sniffle and sneeze I hear while in public places now.
I did get some joy after I googled it and found a hilarious video from one of my favorite clean-cut comedians, Nate Bargatze, joking about the same topic (shown below).
Thank you, Nate. I see I'm not alone.