Roger Marolt: Floating an idea for a cabin fever cure

They say the new coronavirus can make you hallucinate. I don’t know because I haven’t had it, but I don’t doubt it, because I know cabin fever can severely distort your thinking. I definitely have that.

I haven’t been sick in the traditional sense or had so much as a hint of the sniffles for over two years. I’m talking no hay fever, nothing, except maybe a sneezing fit after grinding hot peppers onto a burrito. It’s not that I set out to keep track of such a record as this, or maybe I should more accurately refer to it as a “personal best,” but this run of good health has been so strong that it has become worrisome in a lot of ways. Actually just one: I’m due.

Cabin fever has been my lone comfort in this regard. It is real. If I have it, that means my luck has run out, I really am sick, and there is no salubrious streak for me to jinx by talking about it. As irrational and illogical as it may sound, I honestly believe that, if I have a verified case of cabin fever now, I will not contract COVID-19 later.

The thing about cabin fever is that testing for it is woefully inadequate. The hard truth is that there are no tests. Nobody prepared for its pandemic. There is no vaccine. There are no known medicinal cures, unless you consider booze as medicine. Personally, I don’t think it is. It only masks the symptoms and can actually makes things worse the next morning. I believe a person with a true case of cabin fever is better off relying on the placebo effects associated with eating ice cream straight out of the carton.

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This leaves me to determine for myself whether I have a true case of cabin fever. I don’t think there’s much doubt. I can pretty much sum up the proof in four words: I bought a paddleboard. I don’t know, maybe that’s five words. They’ll probably ding me for it in peer review.

Since this case may end up being scrutinized, I will be totally honest: I bought two paddleboards. I actually bought them for my wife for Mother’s Day. The extremely odd thing about that is not so much that I bought them for her even though she is clearly not my mother, but rather that she asked me for them fully aware that she is not my mother. If anyone doubted to this point that both of us have severe cases of cabin fever, this should be all the proof they need.

To be clear, paddleboards are not cheap. Even on a two-for-the-price-of-one coronavirus special offer, seeing the line item on the credit card bill still has to be more painful than I imagine a nasal cavity swab is. I don’t want to find out for sure, mind you.

In our defense, we discussed this investment hastily between “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Homeland” television series. It didn’t leave a lot of time, but enough to picture ourselves progressing on our new paddleboards from the tranquil currents of Stillwater to the exhilarating experience of trekking over Buckskin Pass with our new toys strapped to our backs to test the wild waters of Snowmass Lake. Yes, the two-for-one deal included backpacks for our boards. No, we did not realize a rolled-up paddle board still weighs about 30 pounds, including the air pump, which we figured we would need, and without water, food, a towel, or rain gear, which we might need, too.

It is hard to believe that we never considered that there are not a lot of convenient places to use paddleboards around here. Upon contemplation, I now believe there are many viable theories as to why Aspen doesn’t have a vibrant beach scene.

You do see a lot of SUPs, fins up, strapped to the tops of SUVs around town, so there is hope that we can follow one of these to the really good secret spots where we can totally immerse ourselves in the activity. In the meantime, I am convinced we look cool tooling around downtown with our boards bungee-corded to the ski rack.

If nothing else, we at least did a little to help keep the economy afloat with these things. And, I will admit that thinking about places to use our new paddleboards and wearing beach attire has been an antidote for cabin fever that is showing promise in producing a permanent antibody. I am thinking about getting off the hydroxychloroquine.

Roger Marolt is wondering how often you need to change the air in a SUP. Email at roger@maroltllp.com.