Dear Open-Mouthed Coughers: I Don’t Want Your Sputum

August 28, 2018

Please stop spraying me with your bacteria.

Open mouthed coughers are everywhere – people who insist on coughing, sneezing and spewing mucous on anyone in a five foot radius – a strange subgroup of humanity who inexplicably made it into adulthood without garnering the primitive skill of covering one’s mouth during a sputum spray.

They’ve showered me in saliva on trains, in restaurants, at gyms and in meetings at work; in the supermarket que and mid-transit carrying my drinks from the bar. It seems there’s no corner of this world where one is not at risk of an impending front-facing open-mouthed bacteria bath. And I have something I want to ask them.

How difficult, on a scale of one to 10, is it to prop a hand in front of your face?

Unless you’ve been horribly maimed or suffer from a genuine inability to employ basic reasoning, what possible excuse could you have for hurling back your head like a human slingshot, seizing open your giant saliva cavern and unleashing your bodily fluids on me?

I understand you’re not feeling your best, that you barely have the ability to put one foot in front of the other, let alone think about how your God-awful virus is effecting everyone else; but please understand, I have no desire to share whatever it is that’s making you look like a partially defrosted corpse.

My Purell supply is running frighteningly low. I don’t have access to a gas mask. Or a bottomless prescription to antibiotics at the chemist. So please, for the love of all that is still sanitary in this world, please, put your germs away. This isn’t iTunes, I don’t want a free sample of your viral-ridden phlegm. I also don’t want to see it on the handrail in front of me, sprayed across the checkout counter as I’m putting my groceries down, or dancing on the surface of the $20 cocktail I just forked out for.

You cough and splutter so loudly, so uninhibitedly, that it begs the question, do you have no dignity, no shame at all? Are you on a mission to inflict what appears to be the virus from Outbreak on the rest of the human race? Have you never heard the words ‘compromised immune system’, or have you just decided the plight of your pillaged immunity is more important than everyone else’s?

The only thing that keeps me from wiping your glistening snot off of my face and back onto yours is the hope that one day someone will return you the favour and unleash a spew of viral carnage upon you so bad you’ll be left bedridden for weeks, staring at the ceiling, shivering into your hot water bottle, clutching packets of cold and flu tablets, lamenting how utterly inhumane it was to be coughed on, and how you wouldn’t wish it on anyone, not even a perfect stranger on a train, not even me.

Until then, go have a cough drop and share your sputum with someone who cares.



Image via dailymail.co.uk

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