ATLANTA – Public health officials announced today a sharp uptick in reports of vague symptoms that have caused widespread absences from work throughout the nation.
"We haven't seen it this bad in seven, maybe eight years," explained Dr. Tom Hanover, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The sheer number of scratchy throats alone has me greatly concerned."
"We may have another epidemic on our hands," he concluded, furrowing his brow.
All across the United States, nonspecific afflictions ranging from "head-thingys" to "funny-feeling stomachs" have overtaken the nation's workforce, forcing employees to stay home from work for probably a couple days.
The absences have left many local businesses at a loss for what do.
"Half my crew is out sick today," reported Peter Pepper, head cook at Burger Time restaurant. "Let's see – well, Sarah woke up feeling really achy today and didn't want to bring whatever she's got into the restaurant. That was thoughtful of her, I guess."
"And Chris has been out all week. He thought he was getting better, but then he felt all stuffed up this morning so he's just taking it day by day."
"It's definitely not easy to deal with people being out," said Pepper. "But I'm trying to shift schedules around a bit. It's her day off, but I gave Abby a call."
Local sources reported that Abby had rescheduled her dentist appointment and was on her way in to the office.
"Sick? Whatever. I know Sarah got a PlayStation 4 and Chris just got an Xbox One," explained Abby. "Those lying a-holes are just fine."