Did you know that you're a walking danger to people with poor immune systems?
Did it cross your mind that, even though what you're carrying might not be dangerous for you, it could be for someone else?
Did you know that now, during the peak season of the yearly influenza, you might even end up killing someone out of your selfishness and lack of awareness?
I am one of those people with a poorer immune system... and horrible luck.
I am one of those people who, exactly five years ago, unknowingly encountered another careless stranger, like you, in town – one who also thought it was no big deal to go on about their daily life, even though they carried active bacteria that potentially spelled disaster to someone they met.
Someone like me.
I experienced the worst fever of my life.
I completely lost my voice for more than two weeks.
I had to stay in hospital for a week.
I ended up with my lungs so infected that I couldn't breathe in enough oxygen on my own.
My constant coughs hurt like a thousand knives stabbed me in the chest. Every time.
I couldn't get up from the hospital bed without collapsing.
I was shaking and crying myself to sleep.
I honestly thought that I would not wake up the next morning – every night.
The doctors did not know what I had.
My stamina and durability were zeroed and crippled for years after.
And, maybe most of all,
I had to be away from school for a month... just because someone else didn't want to be away for one day.
You might think that I'm overreacting.
Too bad for you that I am not. I am serious. I am living proof.
It can happen to anyone and you, the carrier, will most likely never know.
Think about the consequences.
Think a bit further away than just your own nose and your own needs.
Be a good human being and think before you act.
It can save lives. Literally.
Don't be like that stranger who forever made February a synonym for immense fear to me.
You don't know how painful those memories are. So please, don't remind me that I need to consider every person with a running nose a threat to my life, again.
Feeling death's presence so close is something I don't want to experience again.
Oh, and yes – I left art class earlier today on purpose and, even though I pulled a white lie to the teacher, my real and sole reason was only to avoid you. That's how scared I was.
Regards, a former patient who's mind is at least one of the things that was left permanently scarred after February 2011.