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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Eluding the Bug...

Eluding the Bug

Cold and flu season seems to be early this year. Everyone is coughing, hacking and sneezing already. But, I feel GREAT! With everyone else around me getting sick, however, Iím really afraid that Iím going to catch the bug too.

"No, NO! I donít want to be sick! Keep your germs away from me!"

"I donít feel too good today," declares my honey, "I feel feverish and my throat hurts. I think Iíll call in sick to work. My head aches!"

"Oh, no! Itís going to get me next -- I just know it", I think.

"Sorry, dear", as I turn my cheek to avoid a goodbye kiss and pop a Vitamin C on my way out the door.

On the office elevator, someone sneezes and I try to hold my breath, turning only slightly blue before I reach my floor and stagger out, gasping for fresh, unpolluted, disease-free air.

"I was really sick yesterday, but I feel fine today," says a co-worker, blowing her nose, as I take two steps backwards. Why donít people stay home when they are sick? All they are doing is infecting the rest of us.

"Cough, cough", says my boss on the telephone. "Iím sick and canít make it in today."

"Sorry, hope you feel better soon", as I spray my telephone with disinfectant and hope that germs canít get to me over the phone lines.

"Germs! They are everywhere! I just know Iím going to get sick", as I go to the restroom to wash my hands again. Hand washing is supposed to be the best way to get rid of germs and avoid colds and flu, isnít it?

Someone coughs in the cubicle next to me. I make the sign of the cross.

"Flu shots will be given December 10," I read on a flyer. I thought flu shots were supposed to be given in October, before flu season? Iím not sure I can make it until December", as I begin crossing off the first of the many days left on the calendar until December.

I feel my forehead to see if Iím hot. Nope, seem to be okay. Maybe I can hold out after all. I put on my sweater to keep from getting chilled.

Another coworker comes by to deliver a stack of papers. "Boy, my allergies are really acting up. Must be the weather," she says in a hoarse, raspy voice, as she clears her throat. "I think Iím getting bronchitis!"

I wonder if I should don my rubber gloves and face mask or save them for the really serious stuff like anthrax? Too late, Iíve already touched the papers she gave me. I grab the bottle of hand sanitizer with Aloe and Vitamin E. "Kills 99.99% of germs," it proclaims on the label. "Hope the .11% that gets through is not very contagious."

Whatís a body to do? People seem to just insist on spreading their germs around. How am I supposed to stay well? Maybe Iím just being paranoid. Maybe I wonít get sick. Yeah, and maybe pigs can fly!

"KERCHOO!!!" The cubicle wall buckles from the other side. What was THAT? Is everybody in the place sick but me?

In terror, I cover my nose with a tissue, grab the disinfectant and spray the air. Health officials estimate there will be 25-50 million cases of flu this winter. About 20,000 people die from influenza every year.

I decide to deploy my secret anti-cold weapon and open a package of menthol cough drops, just in case I need them.

Anthrax, my eye! Iíve been in a state of panic over a couple dozen cases of anthrax? From the way things are going, it looks as if I stand a much better chance of being done in by the common cold.

Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss

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