Reality Check with Sadie Zarkin

Dear Sadie Zarkin,

Today I was sitting in class and the girl next to me was literally coughing up every organ in her body, there was at least one lung on the floor.

She was trying to cover her mouth in the crook of her arm, as we are told is the ideal method of preventing the spread of disease, but I could still feel moist air approaching my face accompanied by flecks of unutterable iscera.

Am I already doomed? In the meantime, what can I say to ill persons to the effect of “Get the f*** away from me” except polite?

-Already Coughing


While this is the most unfortunate of circumstances, it is important to remember in situations such as these that the person propelling their innards is most likely far more uncomfortable than you.

The winter time can create a cesspool of disease in the air, especially in the college class room. Your best defense is a large glass of orange juice and some Purell. In regards to what to do about this ill-fated classmate, perhaps you could nicely suggest she get a drink of water, or offer her some of your own hand sanitizer. More severe circumstances may require you to chat her up about how last time you coughed like that you stayed home all day, and if all else fails, scope out the situation when you first enter the room, and pick a more strategic seat.


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