Poll shows more than half of Americans have been sneeze-shamed because of COVID-19

Istock Sneeze 04022021
iStock/Drazen Zigic

(NEW YORK) — If you feel you’ve been shamed for sneezing or coughing in public since the start of the pandemic, you’re not alone: a new poll shows 56% of Americans have.

The non-scientific survey, commissioned by the allergy medication Flonase, shows that because of the side-eye that people now give, 55% experience “a slight moment of panic” when they feel the urge to sneeze around others coming on. 

The most common thoughts upon sneezing, respondents said, are “Great, now people think I’m sick,” followed by “I promise I’m not sick,” “Hold it in!,” and “I hope I don’t have snot in my mask.”

The survey says nearly 60% agree sneezing fits or allergy attacks always come at the worst time — and that was the case even before we ever heard the words “social distancing.” 

With allergy season upon us, you better develop some thick skin.

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