Yesterday afternoon I was working in my yard by myself and I sneezed. Normally, that's not a big deal but in these pandemic times I stopped and checked my surroundings to make sure I was indeed alone and I even said out loud, "Allergies", just in case anyone was within earshot and wondering about my personal health.

The influx of COVID-19 in our state has made seasonal allergy sufferers such as myself very self-conscious. Let's face it, we now live in a world where every sniffle, sneeze, cough, or throat clearing sound is scrutinized. The pollen counts for Acadiana aren't helping us avoid that at all.

If there's good news in the world of pollen it would be this. The pollen counts for much of Louisiana are in the medium range. Most of our irritants are coming from hickory and willow trees and of course an abundance of grasses. That's what we are calling good news.

The bad news is that is if this is "medium", I will absolutely die when the pollen counts get heavy and they likely will over the next few weeks. Sure, there are plenty of prescription and non-prescription medicines available to ease the symptoms of seasonal allergies.

The problem with most of them is the day-long fog that your mind is thrust into because your nose couldn't breathe.  There's also that nagging dry throat/dry mouth side effect that not only makes speaking difficult but causes frequent urination because of the fluid intake needed to stay hydrated.

Eventually, we will be out of the plant mating season and pollen counts will return to their normal slightly tolerable levels. In the meantime, I guess I will just have to learn how to sneeze quietly. By the way, don't hold in a sneeze. The side effects of that are far worse than any dirty looks you might get from someone standing close to you. Just cover your mouth and start carrying some tissues.