Friday, February 26, 2010

Certain Contagion

I have been "plagued" by a nagging cough for two months now, a deep throated gutteral hacking, the sound of severe contagion for sure. At least, that is what other patrons at the local drugstore must think of me, when I stand in line to buy several bags of mentholated cough drops, as they give me "the look" and move several paces back. "The Look" says with alarm in widened eyes "What the heck are you doing out here in public, obviously spreading germs all around?" I back up from the register line, and try to explain that I'm not contagious, really, the cough is just from allergies. See, I'm buying expensive allergy medication. "Right", says "The Look". She stays firmly planted a few feet away from me.

I am not contagious, seriously. I have been fully vetted by my doctor. Do I need a physician's signed note hanging visibly around my neck? Have we all gotten just a little bit paranoid about germs and flu viruses? I do carry hand sanitizer in my fanny pack, and use it religiously after every encounter with a public surface, including this keyboard I am using in the public library, as I am convinced that the reason I got a nasty cold just before Xmas was from a touch screen. (Fortunately, they have a giant pump-top bottle of hand sanitizer at the entrance of the computer room here in the library in case anyone has not brought their own stuff.)

Just what kind of deadly virus does one spread in this modern day and age? No one wants to get a nasty cold, or the flu, but most relatively healthy people (ie, those not in hospitals or nursing homes) recover quite nicely. The Avian Flu is not being spread around the globe at the present time, at least not that I am aware of. The Flu Epidemic of 1918 was lethal to thousands of the healthy and the young, but unless you have had an H1N1 Flu shot, anyone could be a carrier of such a deadly flu and pass it on to you, quite surreptiously. (A sneeze in an elevator; an unwashed hand on a public restroom door.)

So, if you are germaphoic like I am, carry your own little bottle of hand sanitizer with you in public. Rub it on your hands after every public surface encounter. Swab down the seats before takeoff when traveling by plane, and ingest some Airborne before you fly. Use a mask when at the physician's office (possibly the germiest place around). Do whatever makes you comfortable. But please, don't spread an attitude that could turn your friends and neighbors into the lepers of the 21st century.

No comments:

Post a Comment