As if returning to work after a long weekend wasn’t painful enough, anyone who has stepped outside today will have fallen victim to the powerful gusts of wind flinging bits of prickly tree into your eyes, ears, mouth, hair, lungs, soul, etc. Not only is it lodged into all our orifices creating extreme fits of coughing and eye-watering, but anyone who suffers from hayfever is a puffy, weepy wreck right now. But who can we blame for this uncomfortable airborne attack? Those bloomin’ plane trees. After the nice weather, our trusty pavement dwelling planes are letting their hairy balls down and we’re imbibing all the trichomes (the technical term for the annoying spiky hairs).
But what can be done?
Stay informed. Follow @pollen_london on Twitter to check the pollen levels before leaving the house. Although today they claim this is ‘moderate’ – so what the hell do they know?!
Wear eye protection. Sunglasses just won’t cut it. In these extreme situations, you need something more heavy duty. Grab your skiing gear, swimming goggles or diving mask before venturing outside. Don’t worry, no one will laugh at you – they’ll be too busy rubbing their burning blurry eyes to notice.
Get a face mask. Cycle mask, surgeon garb, snorkel, full face helmet – as long as it covers your nose and mouth, you are winning.
Lube up. Rubbing Vaseline or another sticky substance inside your nose is supposed to catch the pollen before it can piss you off. However, we have a feeling a smear of grease won’t stop this boisterous plane tree detritus.
Get medicated. Get to your local pharmacist and stock up on eye drops and antihistamines. Even if this doesn’t remove the furry tree baby lodged in your throat, at least you’ll feel like you’re fighting back.
Stay indoors. Tape up the windows and doors, sit tight and wait for the wind gods to chill out and stop being such dicks. It’ll be over soon.
Find out more about pollen from the University of Worcester’s National Pollen and aerobiology research unit.
By Sonya Barber