by John Delach

The Noro Stomach Virus is that horribly infectious sickness that usually makes headlines went it strikes a cruise ship’s complement of confined passengers turning the “love boat” into “voyage of the dammed.”


Since mid-November, it has struck and continues to strike people in the Metropolitan area with a vengeance. Appropriately, it has selected the period of time surrounding the 75 Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor to suddenly and deliberately attack individuals and families with devastating results.


Our ordeal began with a sneak attack on grandson, Matty, during the week of December 11 in the early hours of the day. Poor Matty never saw the virus coming and suffered both torpedo and bomb hits. Laid low by its severity, he was knocked out of action for five days.


Brother, Drew, was next attacked repeatedly by a lesser dose that never took him out but slowed him down to a crawl for over a week.


All of this happened several days before Christmas. As is our custom, Mary Ann, Max and I made our way to Fairfield on Christmas Eve to celebrate and open gifts in the morning. We took the chance and all was well as we enjoyed Chinese food for dinner, another Dec. 24 tradition. We left for New Hampshire and our daughter’s family early Christmas morning to repeat the process sans Chinese food.


The game plan called for the Connecticut Delachs to join us in Marlow on December 29th but Noro whip sawed Michael on Tuesday while at work in Manhattan. Needless to say, his early commute home to Fairfield, Connecticut was a seemingly endless ordeal. He barely held it together while on the train trading violence for uncontrolled sweats but then paid the awful price for being able to do so once off the train.


And so ended those plans. What was left of the holidays ended the night of the 29th when our son-in-law, Tom, had his turn arrive without warning. We quickly shelved the idea to stay through New Year’s Day as we decided to “get out of Dodge while the getting out was good.”


Tom heroically extended himself to assist in helping to leave and Beth rewarded him by driving home to Brooklyn as he slept.


New Years was quiet which is not unusual for us allowing me to watch my Giants beat the Redskins and get ready for the Packers in a wild card game the following weekend.


The week got off on a good note, a local R.O.M.E.O. (Retired Old Men Eating Out) lunch on Tuesday and lunch and a show in the city on Wednesday to celebrate Mary Ann’s upcoming birthday. We ate at Gallagher’s Steak House and saw a stirring revival of Irving Berlin’s, “Holiday Inn.”


Thursday, my plan was to meet friends at Penn Station and ride the newly opened Second Avenue Subway. NOT: at 2:30 AM, Noro struck. I was amazed how low I fell so quickly. I was able to overcome the nausea but I felt like I had been knocked so hard that I felt dopey. Just completing thoughts was difficult and I took to my bed except for emergency action. By the middle of the day Max decided to join me so I accepted this new bedmate feeling too weak to tackle this 80 pound horse of a dog. My recovery began Friday morning when I decided to shave.


Blindsided indeed! It didn’t end with me as Beth succumbed on Sunday, Jan. 8. I truly hope that none of you suffer this fate but should you, all I can say is this too shall pass.