Just as our nation is grappling with the Coronavirus pandemic, it appears there is another crisis rapidly spreading throughout the world. Over the past 50 years, throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, there has been an explosion of reported cases of Kronic Incessant Disorder Syndrome (better known by its acronym, K.I.D.S.). No socio-demographic group has been spared by this invasive and intractable outbreak. In fact, I myself have been waging my own personal battle with K.I.D.S. for over twenty years.
According to humanitarian relief agencies’ longitudinal studies dating back to the 19th century, the number of known cases of K.I.D.S. is at its highest level in human history. Alarmingly, it shows no signs of reversing its upward trend. For millions of couples facing the long-term ordeal of K.I.D.S., there is no relief in sight and social distancing is simply not an option.
Scientists have been unable to unlock the mysterious inner workings of K.I.D.S., but its origins have been conclusively linked to a combination of alcohol consumption combined with unprotected sexual contact in the vast majority of cases. Warning signs that you may have contracted K.I.D.S. include an inability to maintain an orderly household and an increasing disregard for clutter and chaos. Another warning sign includes a dramatic degree of social distancing by adults who have not been exposed to K.I.D.S.
What makes this epidemic of K.I.D.S. such a debilitating affliction is that for most adults who have fallen victim to this condition, there is very little they can do about it. In the vast majority of cases, the condition typically lasts for decades, in many cases not ending until the victim eventually passes away from other health problems. People coping with even the mildest form of K.I.D.S. almost universally report that the condition gets progressively more difficult to manage over time, as the virus typically morphs, grows in size, and becomes increasingly resistant to attempts to control it.
Early stage K.I.D.S. is often associated with significant sleep deprivation that can last for up to six to eight months. During this period, common side effects include the presence of near toxically noxious odors and a marked reduction in one’s range of vocabulary, accompanied by an uncontrollable urge to speak in a high-pitched chirpy voice about successful bowel movements. Sadly, it is not uncommon for people struggling with early-stage K.I.D.S. to experience a noticeable deterioration in their mental faculties. Experts believe this may be caused by having to endure hours of vacuous television programming dedicated to letters of the alphabet and torturous images of creatures known as “Teletubbies”. Research also suggests this mental deterioration can be further exacerbated by prolonged exposure to folk songs about Baby Belugas or beautiful days in the neighborhood.
Surprisingly, after a few years, some K.I.D.S. sufferers have reported brief intervals of partially regained lucidity and even episodes of peace, as they regain normal sleep cycles and more adult-themed TV programming. There have even been reported instances in which people living with K.I.D.S. have experienced fits of laughter at birthday parties, zoos, and little league baseball games – but these anecdotal stories have yet to be substantiated with empirical evidence.
One of the most common ailments afflicting people with K.I.D.S. is a perceived loss of control, independence, and spontaneity. They often report feeling constrained by endless cycles of vehicular transport to soccer games, piano recitals, and doctor’s appointments, taking the place of time previously used for hiking, tennis with friends, and working out at the gym. As a result of this hard-to-break cycle, another common side effect of K.I.D.S. is prolonged weight gain and a marked decline in concern for personal appearance.
Another common side effect of K.I.D.S. is prolonged weight gain and a marked decline in concern for personal appearance. It is not unusual for people with advanced stages of K.I.D.S. to experience wild swings of emotion and increased stress. If you encounter an otherwise rational adult barking out phrases like who do you think paid for that? or would it kill you to say, ‘thank you’? or Because I said so!, the chances are high the person has a fairly typical case of K.I.D.S There are many reports of K.I.D.S. wiping out a couple’s entire long-term savings. Some studies suggestion that this steep decline in personal net worth is most severe for people who have been struggling with K.I.D.S. for 18 to 22 years.
The good news is that there are a few glimmers of hope. For some people facing an uphill battle with K.I.D.S., symptoms of frustration and exhaustion tend to fade just about the time when the financial impact of K.I.D.S. has passed its peak. There are dozens of documented cases where K.I.D.S. sufferers can resume a relatively normal life after about 18 years from the onset of the condition. In some reported cases, they were able to resume activities such as having a normal conversation with another adult or take long drives that did not involve emergency pit stops to eliminate bodily fluids.
While there are several methods of prevention, there is still no cure for K.I.D.S.. The harsh reality is that the existence of K.I.D.S. has become a global epidemic. Everywhere you look the evidence of K.I.D.S. is undeniable. My wife and I have both experienced firsthand countless harrowing encounters as a result of K.I.D.S.. Ever since we first received the shocking diagnosis of K.I.D.S. more than two decades ago, our home has been taken over by an infestation of K.I.D.S.
But here is the oddest part about this chronically overwhelming, exhausting condition. Even though coming down with K.I.D.S. has radically turned my life upside down, drained my life savings and caused me endless sleepless nights, I can’t help but wonder what my life would have been like if I had never gotten K.I.D.S. It’s one lifelong condition for which I hope they never find a cure.
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Check out Tim Jones’ latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time