When pollen is ruining your dog walks
Six ways to fight your way through spring allergies, global warming changes
In the past two weeks, I was thoroughly convinced I was one of the latecomers to coronavirus. Regardless of the number of cases dwindling down, if Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, Desus and Jon Batiste could get it in the fourth quarter (after being boosted and vaccinated), I knew I wasn’t in the clear. With nonstop itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, a dry cough, being hot and cold overnight, and feeling dizzy, there was no other way to describe why I wanted to grab a cold compress for my eyes and hide under my comforter.
What else could it possibly be? Chicago weather had grown warmer to the point where I was wearing shorts and short-sleeve shirts, but I knew this wasn’t the allergies I usually dealt with in April and May. Two types of allergy medication weren’t working, and then at some point I switched to cough syrup when I got a runny nose and a sore throat.
But after three COVID-19 tests (two different brands) consistently gave me negative results, what the hell else could it be?
Per usual, global warming is making hanging outside undesirable. All of my issues are indeed related to allergy season. And 2022 is by far hitting those with allergies worse than usual.
NBC reports that, “According to area doctors, a more severe spring allergy season has already arrived in the Midwest.” And when I look at Pollen.com, wondering why I was almost back to normal yesterday on a breezy day but want to yank my own eyeballs out during today’s rainy weather, I understand now. In Chicago, we’re at a medium- to medium-high rate for maple, birch and ash.
And while the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology stresses that people with seasonal allergic rhinitis (commonly referred to as hay fever) stay indoors when the pollen or mold counts are high, that’s easier said than done when your dog needs to be walked.
The annual cost of dog ownership is just over $1,300, and that’s not including onetime fees like microchipping, spaying/neutering and grooming. For pet owners who can afford to pay a dog walker, go for it. But here are six tips for those who need to count our dollars and make sure our pets get the appropriate exercise, too.