DEAR HARRIETTE: I suffer from extreme allergies all year long, and I work at a factory. When I get into one of my sneezing or coughing spells, I can feel my co-workers cringe. I get it. Coughing and sneezing spread germs, and nobody wants to catch COVID-19. But we all take COVID tests once a week. I have never tested positive. I have allergies. Trust me -- it’s not easy to have them and have to wear a mask, which only makes it harder to breathe. But I wear it anyway, just like everybody else. How can I get my co-workers to stop glaring at me? It’s hard enough to be there when I’m not feeling well. I don’t appreciate the hostility. -- Stop Glaring
DEAR STOP GLARING: Make a sign to wear saying, “I HAVE ALLERGIES, NOT COVID.” Seriously, if allowed, you may want to do that. It indicates to people that you are not a source of germs that they need to worry about.
I can only imagine how challenging it is for you to have to deal with the daily glares. Continue to take your allergy medication. Get the vaccine whenever it comes your way -- with your doctor’s approval, since you have allergies -- and wear a sign if your supervisor allows it. It may cut back on the hostility.