DESPITE having suffered the seasonal slings of pollen-based nasal misfortune for the past 20 years, there was something about the grind of 2020 so far that made Waterford hay fever sufferer Mal O’Connell think that he’d get through this summer sniffle free, WWN can report.
“It was the whole Covid-19 thing, to be honest” said O’Connell, wiping a gooey tear from his eye that might have been emotion, might have been watery-ness from the high pollen count today.
“It was just drilled into us from the start of the year; be cautious about sniffles, sore throats, sneezing, don’t leave the house much, wear a mask, all of that. So it’s just a bit bittersweet to get through the pandemic and be greeted with nothing but a river of endless snot”.
Although initially his sneeze-filled days were a source of great discomfort for O’Connell when out and about, the 27-year-old has started to turn his circumstances to his advantage when mixing with the public.
“I used to try and cover up my sneezes by assuring people that it was hayfever, not Covid-19, but now I use it to my advantage”, he told us.
“I always hated when people stood too close to me in queues, or sat next to me on the bus. People have no concept of your personal space from one end of the day to the next. But let me tell you this; when you’re the red-faced guy sneezing and coughing in the middle of a global pandemic, people stay the fuck out of your way!”.
WWN declined a handshake with O’Connell after our interview, just to be safe.