A recent congressionally mandated study asserts that climate change is already affecting us. According to the AP article:
“climate change threatens human health and well-being in many ways. Those include smoke-filled air from wildfires, smoggy air from pollution and more diseases from tainted food, water, mosquitoes and ticks. And the ragweed pollen season has lengthened.”
Notice that last line refers to the RAGWEED POLLEN SEASON? That’s longhand for allergy season. It’s embiggened — which is a clever way of saying “immensely more bigger than it used to be.” Regardless of where you personally may stand on the issue of climate change, my stuffed, achy head and scratchy throat are all the proof I personally need that I DON’T LIKE HAVING ALLERGIES.
Plus, I’m one of those specially chosen allergy sufferers. I’ve been twice blessed by the Annoying Maladies gods and have the benefit of Spring Melt Face as well as Fall Squawk.
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Allergy sufferers know well the experience of Spring Melt Face: The need to sneeze arises; one breathes carefully while staring at a light hoping to issue the sneeze forth... and instead, one’s eyes start to gush, watering relentlessly. Melt face is often accompanied by a dry, all-out hacking, wheezy-like cough. Should the sneeze finally, blessedly, then annoyingly constantly, erupt — it does so with a powerful force that pulls upward from the toes and snaps through the base of the neck with the force of a tsunami.
However, it’s likely that Fall Squawk is the typical allergy sufferer’s current state of seasonal yuck. Waking with a daily headache due to swollen nasal passages, the Fall Squawker is forced to exist as a slack-jawed mouth breather, marked with a dry throat and associated foul breath. Rather than the sultry tones of Lauren Bacall, words issued by these sufferers are reminiscent of the chalkboard squeakiness of Marge Simpson.
Such is my daily struggle. And what, you ask, could possible deliver one — even briefly — from such constant misery? My co-worker and pal, Toni, reminded me of the magic of the Hot Toddy.
A cold-weather beverage, the Hot Toddy is also a restorative for colds, allergies and utter boredom. So as you head deeper into this pollen-filled season, keep the recipe for this simple cure-all in mind. And then make one (or more) to enjoy responsibly (preferably on your couch, under a blanket and with a good book in hand).
What you’ll need:
• 1 jigger of whiskey or bourbon
• 1 cup boiling water
• juice from 1/4 lemon (about 2 tsp.)
• 1 Tbsp. honey
• cinnamon stick (optional)
In a mug of boiled water, add whiskey (or bourbon), squeeze in the lemon juice and add the honey. Stir. Throw in a slice of lemon. If you have a cinnamon stick, add that. Smell the beautiful concoction (if you can). Let it cool enough to drink without searing your tongue. Savor what flavor you can manage to enjoy through your sinus-deadened taste buds. Relax and enjoy.