Homesickness, arthritis and flu won't cook my goose
The year began with a whimper and a lot of coughing and spluttering, red eyes and a raw throat. Friends were succumbing all around me.
Otherwise sensible people have given themselves over to CSS (competitive symptom syndrome): the urge to convince a fellow sufferer that they could not possibly feel as bad as you.
Among male friends this is especially pronounced. Nobody is ever as sick as a sick middle-aged man.