I got sick. That’s where I’ve been.

When sick in Key West, denizens frequently refer to having the “Key West Crud.” I don’t know why we blame the illness on Key West. Viruses go around. We have visitors from all over the world and they bring their viruses and bacteria along. Some blame the cruise ship visitors. Honestly, viruses come from all over. They are designed to procreate by spreading. Investigate the scientific background of these replicators. They require a host, a moist environment, certain temperatures. While making sure they continue to thrive, they are busy invading your body and making you miserable.

Whatever you call it, I have miserable for over three weeks and now have a sinus infection. Joy. Being a professional singer, this is not my ideal circumstance. My voice has been rather “husky” lately. My throat is extremely sore. I’ve missed a few gigs. Today I went to Urgent Care and picked up antibiotics, steroids, Virtussin and Flonase. They were very helpful. I came home and I slept a lot.

I should complain. In the 1800’s, Key West summers brought dire consequences. People from all walks off life suffered and died from the Yellow Fever. No one really understood at the time where it came from. Summer would arrive and folks would die horribly. Symptoms began with typical flu symptoms such as fever, aches and vomiting. Then jaundice would set in, the yellow of “Yellow Fever”, followed by bleeding from every orifice. Finally, liver and kidney failure was followed by seizures and coma, then death. People blamed the transient sailors that came to town, “bad air” from the cemetery. No one knew it was actually a mosquito borne illness.

These days in Key West and other tropical areas mosquito control is important. Here in Key West we have our own mosquito control organization Mosquito Control District. They have a helicopter and, during the summer, do announced fly overs releasing larvicide to kill mosquito eggs. After heavy rains it’s important to police your property. I go out, empty pots, bowls, any container that has filled with even just a few tablespoons of water. Mosquitos can lay eggs in just the tiniest amount of water. We also keep lots of repellent on hand. Mosquito Control frequently visits neighborhoods to investigate any areas where people are not being vigilant. We live in a tropical climate. People often take mosquito borne illnesses for granted because someone else is doing a fantastic job keeping us safe.

So, yeah, I’ve been sick. It’s nothing deathly but enough to keep me from having enough energy to write. Maybe it’s the codeine in the cough syrup that has given me enough loopiness to write this. I’m also currently listening to exotica music and roasting root veggies. I don’t know what this illness is but it certainly is NOT the Yellow Fever.

Stay well, friends.


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