Despite the monstrous snowstorm currently hovering off the eastern seaboard, spring is so very, very close. But winter is determined to leave us with one last parting shot, like a guest taking a massive dump in your bathroom before walking out the door. So allergy season is going to be particularly horrible this year.
All y'all with allergies can probably sense the coming menace in the very fibers of your nose hairs. It's not just your imagination. Time elaborates on all the ways this spring a complete fucking nightmare. Blame the polar vortex! For one thing, there's moisture everywhere, so God help you if you're allergic to mold. Plus the cold weather has delayed the trees' flowering, which means once they do bloom, they'll be making up for lost time.
In fact, we might see everything blooming at once, in one eye-watering, snot-shooting blaze of glory. Imagine clouds of pollen thick as pea soup, the cars on your street yellow with tree sperm:
"If it warms up quickly, and gets really warm, that may mean everything starts pollinating all at once," says Estelle Levetin, professor of biology at University of Tulsa. Generally, trees dump their allergy agents more gradually. March sees red cedars, elm, and pine trees start to bloom, followed by maple, ash, birch, and oak, and April sees the nut trees like pecan and walnut begin to pollinate in the South. Grasses and ragweed kick in later in the spring.
As for when it'll start, now's a good time to run to CVS for Claritin. From last week's New York Daily News:
"We're going to get a bumper crop of pollen starting, I would bet, next week," said Dr. Paul Ehrlich, an allergy/asthma/immunology specialist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. "Because the weather has been so cold, we sort of picture trees sitting with their hands on their hips saying 'alright, we'll wait, and then we'll pour on the pollen.'"
Hell, even dry Arizona is having an unusually rough allergy season, thanks to dust storms and a winter so mild the pollen cranked up started early, according to Scottsdale's KPHO. There's just no winning. Healthcare.gov should throw in free gas masks for everyone registering in April.
Fuck you, Old Man Winter. You're a dick and I hate you.
Photo via Balazs Kovacs/Shutterstock.