Meryl Streep by Amy Appleton for

When she first took to the stage at the Golden Globes, Meryl Streep said she had laryngitis. However, America’s First Lady of the big screen quickly found her voice and made an eloquent plea to our then President-elect for decency and dignity. As I watched, I started to feel achy and agitated. Could her condition be transmittable through TV waves?

Think you might be developing Streep Throat too? Here are some of the signs, symptoms, and suggested treatments:

1. Scratchy windpipe

Do you start coughing whenever you hear you-know-who say “yuge?” Does the color orange make you wheeze? Does the very thought of our new president cause you to sputter, hack, and spout Hillaryisms?
TREATMENT: Find your voice, à la Streep, and speak out!

2. Nausea

Have you felt queasy ever since the election? Did each of the debates make you throw up a little in your mouth? Does the thought of Clarence Thomas swearing in Mike Pence make you gag?
TREATMENT: Make two donations to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, and call your congressperson in the morning.

3. Heartache

Is the notion of a full four-year term more than your ticker can stand? Do you get indigestion when you see a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap? Having a hard time swallowing the idea that Trump is the leader of the free world?
TREATMENT: If normalization by the media gives you heartburn, try a dose of artistic expression. Be creative! Think of Streep’s words when she quoted Carrie Fisher, “Take your broken heart, turn it into art!”

4. Earache

Does it sound like he just keeps saying the same sentence fragments over and over again? He has the best sentences. So great. He knows all the biggest words. Really big words. Words that bore their way into your eustachian tubes and suck out your soul.
TREATMENT: Music! Sing, play, or listen to music. Anything will do, except songs performed by Three Doors Down, The Piano Guys, Jackie Evanko, Paul Anka, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

5. Congestion

Is the notion of gold-plated bathroom fixtures stuffing you up? Bogged down by the concept of a billionaire tax-evader? Thoughts clogged by the worry of losing Obamacare?
TREATMENT: Expectorate idealism. Take action. March. Boycott. Protest. Petition. Become a community leader! Help others! Volunteer! The more energy you put into positive action, the less stopped-up you’ll feel.

6. Chills

Did the divisive tone of the campaign leave you cold? Did you have febrile hallucinations that rioting occurred in the streets on Inauguration Day? Did you have visions of Mother Nature smiting the proceedings with rain the minute the Donald stepped up to the podium? Do thoughts of conflict of interest, Russian hacking, building walls, climate change denial, and guns in schools for grizzly bear deterrence make you shake uncontrollably?
TREATMENT: Rock the vote in two years and again in four years. Make your qualms known by exercising your sacred duty as an American. Remember, you and Barack hold the same office now: citizen.

If you have one or more of the above symptoms, you, too, may have been exposed to the outbreak that’s sweeping the nation. Speak up, America! Find your voices, donate, make art, sing, take action, and vote. If symptoms persist more than four years, up the dosages. If they persist for eight years, apply for a visa. In the meantime, let’s hope Streep Throat is an epidemic!

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