Monday, July 06, 2009

The Looming Swine Flu

I just spent twenty minutes in the front seat of a car next to a coughing swine flu sufferer. Then I spent another ninety minutes sitting in a small, stuffy studio with her. And I handled her papers. And her CD cases. I might as well have stuck a cotton swab into her throat and then stuffed it in my nose, I was that exposed.

I practiced breathing in various strategic directions, and I handled her possessions by the corners, and I washed my hands repeatedly. I even kept my fingers away from my face, which is sheer torture for me. If I could have worn a surgical mask I would have.

There's no point, though; if significant numbers of people around me are going to get this flu then I will too, I ALWAYS get the flu. The fact that I've avoided it so long is absolutely shocking.

I'm writing this as a prediction: tomorrow I will be as much a physical wreck as she was. If not, however, then I will cheerfully toast my fragile immune system and thank my lucky stars.


Gary said...

First, here's hoping that you will remain flu-free.

Your description of the various actions and strategies reminded me of things that I have seen on the NYC subway, an efficient transit system (and efficient breeding ground for germs of all types).

I might even admit to using some of those strategies when I've felt particularly exposed to pathogens (they're tiny, they're invisible, but you know they're there!

If all else fails, there is chicken soup...

Adam Thornton said...

I still don't have any symptoms, but I was surprised to learn that they can take up to TEN DAYS to appear!

So jeez, how am I going to allocate blame if and when it actually happens? It's no fun when it just seems RANDOM.

I suspect that if we all wore masks and gloves we'd probably get sick a lot less, though we'd look mighty strange, and when we DID get sick people would REALLY laugh.