Man can land on the moon, and digitalize and stream endless reruns of Columbo, but we still can’t beat the flu. Sure, we can get flu shots based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “best guess” on what virus may be kicking around on any given year. But a sensational strain stretching across our fair land is blissfully immune to the standard vaccinations.
We’re calling it the Lucas virus, in honor of my 4-year-old cousin, who we are convinced brought it to our Michigan Christmas Eve family gathering.
As news reports said, this year’s monster virus did indeed stem from the Great Lakes region. And Lucas did indeed open his mouth really wide at least once to scream in the middle of the living room. As family members hugged, laughed and shared pierogies, no one was the wiser that we had become carriers of this abominable bug.
The Lucas virus made its way to the West Coast via my brother and sister-in-law, who brought the thing to Sacramento. It came to the Southwest on US Airways Flight 281 from Detroit to Phoenix, then shimmied down to Tucson thanks to a ride from my beau from the airport.
Once it hits your house, don’t be surprised if you don’t think it’s the flu right away. Mom was actually ordered to get a CAT scan since her version of the virus decided to seize the muscles on one side of her chest, making it nearly impossible to breathe.
On my end, I was sure I was on death’s door. Never mind that I also thought I was on death’s door when I got a spider bite some time back—this was the real door. Symptoms included aching muscles, aching eyeballs and aching bones. Even my cuticles ached.