Why is Everybody Coughing?

Maximus Bean, Senior Writer

A recent statistic revealed that over the past weekend, coughing rose by 420% around campus. What does this mean? Allergy season, of course. But there are always worrywarts afoot who think every time I cough (hey, everybody sputters when they drink water sometimes), I might have COVID and must therefore be avoided. However, there are other excuses to be made for such disrespect for the University’s “No COVID Symptoms” policy.

We all know smoking is a thing. While I cannot say in this paper that smoking makes you look cool, it is a reason stated by many young men and women who do smoke (or as the cool kids say, “vape” because it’s pretty much the same thing). Smoking is essentially breathing in dangerous stuff into your lungs, but nobody knew that in the ’40s and ’50s. In fact, science considered smoking healthy back then, that’s why every “cool guy” in black-and-white movies smoked. Then many of the actors ended up dying of lung cancer. However, the point I want to make is that smoking, and vaping by extension, causes coughing in the long term. Many kids vape here on campus. You know who you are, with all the juuls and pods and such. We went from just using a match to light our cigars to using electricity to charge up our e-cigs. The power of technology, ladies and gentlemen. I digress.

Since I doubt many of the students are suffering from the long term hacking and coughing that comes with smoking, then it must be something else. “COVID!” I hear someone in the back say. In a way they’re right. The common cold is a form of a coronavirus, minus the pandemic part of it. I could have a cold without the need to alienate myself from my friends and family. It’s a common part of the winter experience. Sometimes I would get sick and my folks still sent me to school. Only catch was that everyone else who got sent to school had the same flu, too. For the rest of us at University, is it COVID that’s causing this cough? According to my editors, it can’t be. That’s because if it were, we would all be in isolation housing by now; the people who are coughing would be sent first, then the rest of us would be contact-traced by default! Onwards with the lockdowns, people! 

The only plausible explanation here would be the most unlikely one: drugs. No, I’m not talking about cigarettes again. I’m talking about the dust you dip into with a pixie stick. For the record (and for the sake of my editors), let me assure you that I am NOT endorsing any of this. It’s abhorrent, evil and to be avoided at all costs, like negative criticism. HOWEVER, it COULD be the cause of consistent coughing on campus, though maybe not completely. Do I have proof of this? Not in the slightest. However, the great Sherlock Holmes once said something to the effect of, “once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” I rest my case, ladies and gentlemen. It’s impossible to be COVID, or smoking, or vaping, or even possibly the common cold (though maybe that could be it) so therefore it MUST be illicit drug use. The good news is that the coughing will conveniently subside once we get into second semester. We’ll be back just in time for allergy season!

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