The pollen plague

An open letter from WHS allergy victims


Avery Conrad and Kyle Henderson

Dear WHS community,


There is a problem plaguing Westfield High. Whether you are directly affected or not, this is a message that everyone needs to hear. This has been an issue since the dawn of time (or at least the dawn of those loathsome pollinating beasts some refer to as trees) and we can no longer allow it to go ignored. We must speak up.

Itchy, swollen eyes, noses raw from sandpaper tissues and constantly sniffling, throats continuously scratchy from the endless coughs—these symptoms are unmistakable, and they can only mean one thing: Allergy season is upon us. If you are fortunate enough to evade the symptoms, this is a message to you.

More than 26 million Americans suffer from rhinitis (also known as nasal allergies or “hay fever”), according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and that includes students walking through our very own hallways. That’s right, this is a local epidemic—it’s probably even affecting your friends.

Firstly, we, the unfortunate community of allergy-sufferers, would like to apologize to our peers. We promise you, it is just as embarrassing for us to walk to the front of the room and clear the snot from our noses as it is awkward for you to have to watch and hear it.

Also, yes, we are OK. Despite the fact that our eyes are completely red and puffy, we have not been crying for the past three days. Our immune systems simply hate pollen, and our faces feel the consequences of our overdramatic white blood cells.

To our teachers: Yes, we know that it is 80 degrees in the classroom and you don’t like to teach over the roar of the air conditioner. But we really would prefer it if the windows were closed. If this is an inconvenience to you, we offer our sincerest apologies. The alternative would be to hear a hearty sneeze every few minutes—a practice that is frowned upon, especially during a test or presentation.

Lastly, to our dearest gym teachers, we want to be P.E. Warrior more than anything else. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to run fast enough to make that Frisbee catch while our lungs are refusing to let in the pollen-filled air. We know that it is all part of the curriculum, but we just wanted to warn you in case you witness any of us passing out.

WHS, we’re not mad, we swear. We really just want you guys to understand our struggle. Please know that every open window, every period spent outside, and every class that has no tissues is ruining school for pollen-haters like us. So we beg of you: Bear with us. Summer is just around the corner.


The Survivors of the 2018 Spring Allergy Season