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Hey You With The Cough! Don’t Even Think About Sitting By Me!

Don’t even THINK about sitting next to me if you are coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose.

I’m not kidding.

I have walked away from people at work, moved to other seats at movie theaters, and spun my shopping cart around in the middle of the grocery store aisle to get away from other coughing shoppers.

If you are sick with a nasty cold, I don’t want to get it! Because a cold to “normal people” AKA “people who don’t have asthma” means bronchitis or pneumonia to those of us with asthma.

Why do I make such a big deal about this?

All 3 of my kids have asthma and when they were little, they were hospitalized 12 times – thanks to pneumonia. Watching my child struggling to breathe is VERY scary. Even with the doctor, nurse, and respiratory therapist in the hospital taking care of my kids, it’s a very dangerous and scary time.  And knowing the “crash cart” is parked outside their room makes me really nervous. (Crash carts have all the medical supplies a nurse or doctor will need if a patient stops breathing.)

And it’s not just them. Since I also have asthma, I get really sick too.

The last time I had pneumonia, I didn’t end up in the hospital, but I missed an entire week of work. I spent that time stuck on my couch, struggling to breathe. I was using my nebulizer every 6 hours around the clock.

It. Was. Scary.

I was so sick and weak I could barely drive myself to the doctor. I knew I needed an antibiotic and oral steroids, (I already take a daily maintenance medication.) And I was so sick and coughing so hard, I pulled a muscle in my rib.

Every cough was a new experience in pain.

So PLEASE….if you are sick with a really bad cold, do us a favor and don’t come to work, church, the movie theater, etc, – and then cough and sneeze on the rest of us.

Nova’s “Gross Science”  says that droplets from a sneeze and cough can travel all the way across a room. And be sucked into air vents and travel to other areas of the building!

Please – keep your germs to yourself!


An asthma sufferer and her 3 kids

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Gasp
    3 years ago

    Interesting, this post showing up this week. I was just realizing yesterday how often I am avoiding going out in public this year and when I do, it’s often at odd hours when shopping is necessary.

  • Richard Faust
    3 years ago

    Thanks for writing Gasp. I don’t think you are the only one to try to avoid the potential sick and/or contagious public at this time of year. In fact, one of our contributors wrote this article on trying to avoid germs … without going overboard: Best, Richard ( Team)

  • tincansailordeg2
    3 years ago

    I feel your pain but some of us, in addition to asthma, have chronic sinusitis and nasal polyps making us sound like we have a cold. Not sure what can be done but all coughs are not equal.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi Tincansailordeg2. We hear you! In view of your comment, I thought you might find it helpful to look over this article on coughs:
    All the best, Leon (site moderator)

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