I need a “I swear it’s not covid” tshirt

It’s really weird being regular ill during a pandemic.

Colds are pretty normal to me, and I’ve been known to get them every few months, especially during winter.

Any other year, I wouldn’t think twice about adjusting my life because of a simple cold (except for the obvious of not hugging/kissing people).

Unfortunately now it feels like criminal behaviour to be anywhere except tucked up in bed if you so much as sneeze.

We didn’t want to cancel our weekend away recently to Salem because of my sniffles. But we did have to heavily adjust our activities.

It was just Sod’s Law (otherwise known as “Murphy’s Law” in the States) that a week before the trip, I got a cold. And, inevitably, that turned into a chest infection (it’s the most annoying thing, and something I’ve had ever since I had a mild bout of bronchitis as a teenager — I fully expect a phlegmy chest about a week after a basic cold).

I was 99% sure this thing streaming out my nose was nothing but regular snot, but regardless I went down to get a Covid-19 test just so I knew for sure.

It was no surprise when it came back negative, and we carried on to Salem on the Saturday morning as planned, knowing full well I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere surrounded by people in case I had a coughing fit.

(I didn’t want to be rounded up by an infectious disease task force and banished from the land 😬)

It meant we couldn’t go to the Salem Witch Museum.

We couldn’t buy tickets for a ghostly walking tour.

No browsing all the gift shops (which is my guilty pleasure).

And eating in any crowded area was a no-no.

So what did we do?

We walked. A LOT. Apart from the main strip of witchy-based shops and a couple of other touristy spots, the streets were actually super quiet. The back streets full of old New England houses were joyfully deserted. We wandered along the coast and just had seagulls for company.

We visited all of the outdoor things (you can see all of the Hocus Pocus filming locations from outside as well as some other architecturally significant buildings).

We got delicious takeaway and street food for every meal and ate outdoors on deserted picnic tables.

We frolicked in the leaves, that were rapidly turning the most delicious shades of russet and pumpkin.

📍 6 Oliver Street, Salem, 01970 MA

All in all, despite not being able to head indoors anywhere, we had a pretty incredible trip to Salem.

Anyone else already had their first cold of the season? 🤧

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