I suppose it makes sense to encourage sick folks not to board crowded subway cars. At times, simply being in a subway car is enough to make an otherwise healthy person feel queasy, and the sign is right when it says station workers can help an infirm person better than subway drivers can. Still, I had to chuckle when I saw this sign in an MTA subway car headed into Manhattan several weekends ago. I guess a terse “Sicko, stay away” is one version of New Yorkers’ famed “directness.”
Today I won’t be taking my sick self onto any New York subway cars. This morning I woke to a spinning room: vertigo, the head-swimming nausea I sometimes experience when allergic sinusitis settles into my inner ear. Today’s case has been mild: I’m able to sit up and even stand if I don’t move around much, unlike past cases where I’ve been able to lie on one side but not the other, the simple act of rolling over causing my head to whirl. Still, if sitting up and standing in one place, carefully, is all you can muster, teaching is pretty much out of the question, so I canceled today’s classes and have spent the day napping, lying still, and trying to grade papers as I’ve been able. With the help of decongestants, my head is slowly clearing, but in the meantime, I won’t be taking any whirls other than the ones I’m currently feeling between my ears.