Allergy season is making life interesting for sufferers, in the current climate that fosters suspicion everytime someone sneezes.

I love Spring, with all the buds popping out on the trees, and all the beautiful flowers. But if I walk by a hyacinth in a store, I'll be sneezing before I make it to the next aisle. When my husband and I were dating, he once bought a potted hyacinth for me. Imagine the look on his face when I waved it away, as if he were presenting me with a honeycomb covered in bees. I quickly explained that I cannot be around them, in a closed environment, and even suffer symptoms when they're in the open air.

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And it's not just hyacinth. In my last marriage, my now ex-husband surprised me by putting a vase full of lilacs next to the bed, so I would wake up to their heavenly scent. I had some explaining to do when I grabbed the vase, and immediately set it outside the house, as I squinted my eyes against the pounding in my head.

Back then, it was just a matter of a quick explanation that I have seasonal allergies, and that was the end of it. But in today's COVID climate, it's not that easy. I can't tell you how many times, in the past week, I've seen suspicious glares from people when I have to sneeze, or when I have to sniffle deeply because I just passed a flower display in the grocery store. My eyes are red, my nose is running, and I'm pulling my mask aside to cough. (into my elbow, of course) Any day now, I expect to find myself escorted outside by employees, dressed in hazmat suits.

To all my fellow allergy sufferers, I feel your pain, and your discomfort at being around others. Maybe we should have t-shirts or masks made up, and wear them everyday. They could say something like "Don't Fear the Sneeze - It's Allergies - NOT COVID.'

Or, how about this...

"My eyes are red because of pollen, not because I'm Bashful. I don't need a Doc, because it's allergies making me Sneezy. I'd be Happy to take meds, but they make me Dopey and Sleepy. Please don't be Grumpy. I'll cover my cough!"

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