I get home from work to find my middle daughter holding a glass with a strange pinkish liquid in it.  “Drink this,” she says, “It tastes nasty, but it’s good for you!”

I’m a sport, so I toss the strange brew down my throat like I used to chug beers when I was eighteen.

It hits the back of my throat and it bubbles there like a volcano with a few red spouts flying back out of my mouth, high into the air , and then splattering on the floor.  The majority though stays in and wreaks it havoc. It’s full of cheyenne pepper and other crazy spices. I feel my throat instantly closing as I go into laryngospasm.. .

”Are you okay?”

I can barely make a sound as I walk quickly to the sink.  I try to breathe in but I get nothing. No air. I am locked up.

“Are you okay?” she says, again.  This time urgently.

My youngest daughter has sprung up from the couch and run into the kitchen to see what is up.  “Are you okay, Daddy?”

Even my masked wife comes out of her isolation room to see what’s going.

I make the horrible stridorous sound, then go silent.

“You killed you Pupa!” She declares to my middle daughter.

I am about to pass out .

I am incapable of making sound. I am doing my best to stay calm, and hope my vical chords open up from their clam-like reaction to the awful spices.

This happened before when I took a sip of Jamaicn soup and got a bit of scotch bonnet pepper on the back of my throat.  I was at work and my preceptee- Blanched, as I slowly got the epi out of the medic bag and was about to hand it to him when I finally was able to get a breath..

I pour myself a glass of water and drink, swirling it in my throat without inhaling,

Slowly I try to get one breath, and then another.  The dizziness passes, although my breaths are still strained.  

“I’m so sorry,” my middle daughter says.  “I was trying to protect you and I almost did you in.”

I just shake my head.  Finally I can make a sound.  “I’m okay thanks.”

The uneasiness gives way to laughter.

“It didn’t kill me,” I say.  “Hopefully, it will make me stronger kill me will make me stronger.

In the last two weeks I have tried all sorts of concoctions.

My wife makes me listen to a recorded prayer and then she gives me a glass of grape juice, and then I have to listen to the prayer again.  I am the one member of the family who does not go to church, but she still believes the Lord can save me and keep me safe.

Some nights she gives me olive oil to run in my hair and on my face.  Someone told her it was a good thing to do.

I am taking Zinc on the recommendation of a doctor at the hospital.

I take Vitamin D because I read the real reason the flu goes way down in summer is not because the heat kills the virus, but because the sunlight raises peoples’ Vitamin D, and high Vitamin D levels make you less likely to get the flu.

I take melatonin because another guy at work said he read it will help beat COVID.

I buy fresh berries every time I go to the supermarket because of course berries have to be good for your health and immune system.

Maybe these things are all really good for me, or maybe it is the placebo effect.  I don’t know, but I’ll take whatever help I can get.

This morning I read that surgical masks are worthless at stopping COVID-19.  Imagine that.



  • Rust Muirhead says:

    Peter – Hadn’t been to your blog in awhile but found myself thinking about you given the new world we’re living in. Glad you are healthy, and thank you for continuing to do all that you do. Oh, and add elderberry to your defensive ammunition! If you email me your address I’ll send you some. Take care…

  • Laiba Khan says:

    What was in the concoction? Carrot juice with red pepper? 🙂

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