A collection of essays, outdoor adventure stories, ruminations, wordplay, parental angst, and blatant omphaloskepsis, generated in all seasons and for many reasons at 64.8 degrees north latitude

Saturday, November 11, 2023

COVID, Perimenopause, or Existential Dread?

Many conditions have similar symptoms.  As seasonal illnesses ramp up and the darkness of winter closes in, it can be difficult to tell whether you are suffering from:

a) COVID-19 (a viral infection that went out of style at least two years ago),
b) Perimenopause (a life phase characterized by fluctuations in trivial and poorly investigated non-male hormones), or
c) Existential dread (a condition caused by reading the news and possessing a modicum of logic).

The questionnaire below is definitely not designed to help you self-diagnose, no matter how much that appears to be its sole and obvious purpose.  Our lawyers would like to remind you that medical information can only be provided by a licensed professional who is not covered by your health insurance plan. The following questions are designed only for your entertainment, discomfiture, and paranoid fixations.

Which of the following have you experienced?

1) Headache

2) Tiredness

3) Ennui

4) Inability to tell the difference between tiredness and ennui

5) Memory lapses that seem marginally less terrifying if you call them “fuzzy brain”

6) Attempts to cover up fuzzy brain via fuzzy logic and pointless arguments about things that didn’t happen, but maybe they did, and was it your fault?  It was probably your fault.  Deny it.

7) Loss of smell

8) God, what is that smell?  Do I smell something?  Do I smell anything?  Maybe I smell.  Maybe everyone can smell me.  Maybe I don’t even remember what things used to smell like. Is this egg salad bad?

9) Diminished sexual desire

10) Diminished desire of anyone else to want to have anything to do with you sexually, ever.

11) Sweating with fever

12) Sweating without fever

13) Copious sweating at night

14) Copious sweating at any goddamn time, just random clammy body-juice oozing and dripping and pooling like that cold bog full of long-dead armies in Lord of the Rings.

15) Cough

Results: 1-6: a, b, and c; 7: a; 8-14 a, b and c; 15: a

Note: if symptoms worsen or persist for more than two weeks/years/decades, consult a glasses-wearing TV pharmacist, your mother-in-law, or a YouTube ad with rapidly scrolling side effects in four-point font. 


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