Humor Non-Fiction posted February 23, 2021

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Side-effect roulette: one in a million?

Fear of the Improbable

by Elizabeth Emerald

As I write this, my man-friend is in the throes of anaphylaxis; Chuck's throat has swelled up and closed off, consequential to his Coronavirus vaccination.

Clearly, had I been bearing witness to Chuck's gasping fruitlessly, as paramedics try desperately to intubate his swollen esophagus, I would not be here writing about it.

I heard the story in all its dramatic detail from Chuck.

One may rightly wonder how Chuck is able to relay these events whilst battling for breath.

He isn't; he told me yesterday.

And the day before that.

And the day before that ...

Chuck has told me this story daily, with ever more embellishments, for the past three weeks. He's convinced himself, on the basis of a single account of an allergic (non-fatal) reaction to (an inert component of) the vaccine that he is destined to die on V-Day.

A (generalized) fear of taking medication, termed Pharmacophobia, may ensue from one's having experienced (or knows of someone who had) a serious side effect (regardless of its expected frequency).

Chuck's state of terror, being paradoxically focused on an all-but-impossible outcome, has inspired me to construe a sub-category of Pharmacophobia. Given that his bizarre condition is thus far undocumented, and therefore unnamed, I've coined the moniker Improbaphobia.

Kindly excuse me; I'm off to summarize Chuck's case history for submission to the  esteemed Compendium of Phobias; with luck I'll beat the deadline for the next edition: look for it under Improbaphobia.

Beth Shelby just looked it up: Improbaphobia is listed ...

i.e. Improbaphobia- The fear of freak accidents, random events that cannot be anticipated, or are not probable. (e.g. getting struck by lightning ... 



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