Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Everybody had colds.  Some said it was the flu, but whatever it was it had decimated the population.  Half of Darrowby seemed to be in bed and the other half sneezing at each other.
I myself was on a knife edge, crouching over the fire, sucking an antiseptic lozenge and wincing every time I had to swallow.  My throat felt raw and there was an ominous tickling at the back of my nose. . .
 later. . .
"Hhrraaagh!" replied Mr. Snowden.  Coughs come in various forms but this one was tremendous and fundamental, starting at the soles of his hob-nailed boots and exploding right in my face.  I hadn't realized how vulnerable I was, with the farmer leaning over the calf's neck, his head a few inches from mine.  "Hhrraaagh!" he repeated, and a second shower of virus-laden moisture struck me.  Apparently Mr. Snowden didn't know or didn't care about droplet infection, but with my hands inside my patient, there was nothing I could do about it.
 Instinctively I turned my face a little in the other direction.
"Whoosh!" went George. It was a sneeze rather than a cough, but it sent a similar deadly spray against my other cheek.  I realized there was no escape.  I was hopelessly trapped between the two of them.
from All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot

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