Having come down with a garden variety of sore throat and a slight fever this week, I am not unaware that the coronavirus is still lurking out there, what with some people still masking themselves here and there.

Truth is, most of us quit worrying too much about catching it almost two years ago, but you can still get tested, and vaccinations are available. Indeed, the state Department of Health website shows Socorro County had two cases over the first two weeks of April.

Between the random sniffs and sneezes, I’ve been taking a trip down my feeling-sick memory lane to those days when temperatures were measured by a glass thermometer filled with mercury and a spoonful of sugar helped the cod liver oil go down.

Before the age of 12, I had already gone through the big three at our house: chickenpox, measles and mumps, oh my. That was back in the fifties when the conventional wisdom was that when one kid in the neighborhood caught the measles, other mothers would send their kids over so everybody would get it and be done with it. Of course, it was also in the happy fifties that parents thought it was a good idea to rub whiskey over their baby’s gums to alleviate teething pain. That is, unless you lived in a dry county like us, and all you had was your mom doing her best to console you. And, in a way, that was the best medicine.

With Mother’s Day coming up a week from Sunday, I’m reminded of those little things we look on as adults as inconsequential but were at the time anything but. Things done best by Mom, like her treating my bee stings with vinegar and baking soda or my scraped knee with Merthiolate. Or watching over me when I had the dreaded abovementioned big three.

Mark Twain said it best: “My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.”

Pardon me as I take a detour here, but the conventional wisdom of my friends in those formative years was that picking up a penny would bring good luck, that stepping on a crack would break your mother’s back, and if you broke a mirror you’re doomed. My mother, on the other hand, would issue her own warnings and demurs that were basically scare tactics. I learned eventually that despite everything I was led to believe by her and other grownups my eyes didn’t stay crossed, TV didn’t make me go blind, I ate an apple a day and still got a bad cold, and my long hair didn’t make me a girl.

But wait, there’s more. What about that wild-haired weirdo looking back at me in the mirror? Does being under the weather cause bad hair days?

All my adult life, I’ve heard people—generally women—use that “bad hair day” term at one time or another. I’m not sure what constitutes a bad hair day, and I gather it could be for several reasons. It could be the wind, the humidity, or not shampooing, but for me, it’s usually the need for a haircut, like now.

In the sixties, I can’t remember ever hearing the phrase “bad hair day,” at least from the girls in my high school class, and that may be because they all seemed to affix every follicle on their scalp together with hair spray. Industrial strength. It was like concrete, where all the hairs were one big wavy-shaped block. I’m exaggerating, of course, but all I can say is that you daren’t get too close because once I almost got my eye poked out by an errant chunk.

OK, I’m one to talk. My unruly hair had always given me problems, and it started at the onset of Beatlemania when I was a teenager. Dang that Ringo Starr. Trying to look like him surely set me on the road to perdition. And my buddies at school giving me the nickname Ringo sure didn’t help.

But hey! Let’s not stop with bad hair days. Maybe we should have a bad face day, too. You know, for when you have puffy eyes from allergies, a zit that won’t go away, or that cold sore gets out of control. For me, it’s all those things, plus that tell-tale patch of facial hair that my razorww always misses.

It might be a good idea to have some old COVID face masks on hand.

Heads up! Cinco de Mayo is only three days away, so you have time to stock up on tamales, carnitas and tortas with guacamole and tortilla chips on the side.

Me, I’ll be clearing up my sinus cavities with a bit of red on one side and a little green on the other and enjoying Christmas in May with enchiladas with a fried egg on top.