Tue, Aug. 11

Spring is in the air; it’s sneeze season

Judy Bluhm

Judy Bluhm

Cabin fever. Irritability and restlessness resulting from long confinement or isolation. There, I just diagnosed what is ailing us. Hey, but we can look out the window. And go for a walk.

Spring has arrived. The trees are in bloom and the flowers (plus weeds) are pushing stubbornly through the soil, as if to say. “I am waking up.” The birds are coming back, having flown thousands of miles to find our little backyard feeders.

This is supposed to be the time of outdoor dining, parties and picnics. For now, we glance out the window, marveling at the wondrous world.

Kachoo. Oh, excuse me, Dear Readers, because it seems I cannot stop sneezing. And I guess I am not alone. After reading up on allergies, it clarified one thing . . . folks are suffering in Arizona with itchy and watery eyes, runny noses, sneezing fits, sore throats and general fatigue. The devil is called “hay fever.”

It’s those darn airborne pollens, which are in the form of a very fine powder released by tees, grass and weeds. Allergists claim that in the higher elevations in Arizona people are suffering because of the mountain junipers.

In Phoenix, all those paloverde trees are causing a yellow cloud of pollen. That, coupled with wind, is a recipe for thick clouds of “powder” to be released into the air and into our mouth, eyes, and lungs.

Hmm, will face masks help?

Hey, it is not only the trees that are up to no good. What about those beautiful flowering plants and bushes?

Look around at our fair State and just about everything is in glorious boom. Yellows, purples, whites, greens and reds are creating a riot of color. Kachoo again.

One man emailed me to say he takes two spoonfuls of honey every morning and it has “cured” his allergies.

My neighbor said she can only go out to work in the yard by wearing a mask and goggles. A couple said they will not open a window until June when the “pollen count” is at a “tolerable range.”

Yikes, it’s not just the coronavirus that we are dealing with. Evidently 20-30 percent of all Americans suffer from hay fever (not to be confused with cabin fever). Grab a box of tissue – if you can find one.

Are we getting sick from the air we breathe? I was going for a walk one day and saw a “cloud” of yellow dust swirling around like an evil dust devil. I tried to out- run it, but no such luck.

You know it cannot be good when you have bright yellow dust raining down on you. Help. It’s like a tsunami of pollen.

Get a face mask. Peak out the window. Then cautiously go for a walk, but be prepared to run if you see a yellow cloud coming your way.

Open a window and enjoy the fresh air. Kachoo. On second thought, shut it fast. Spring is here. Soon, the cabin fever will end and we will be going back out into the world. One sneeze at a time.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at

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