maanantai 4. toukokuuta 2009

Borderline Hysterical Flying

I am in Finland now, arrived yesterday. Monday afteernoon, just when I was getting ready to leave the office a colleague of mine (non-chinese, not that it matters) said that "You must feel uncomfortable flying now, with the swine flu raging around and all. And through Germany! They have already confirmed cases."

To be honest, the thought had crossed my mind, but I was nowhere near the level of precautions of my other colleague who cancelled his family vacation to Malaysia, which was ment to take place in JULY, because of the swine flu. The flu is already in China, what does it help to not travel to Malaysia in July? Non of my business, of course. And I figured I haven't usually gotten a flu when I fly even there is always someone coughing and sneezing, so I have no reason to think I would now get this flu, just because it happens to be a very famous flu.

Where were we? Yes, I was leaving the office, and in the elevator I met another colleague, who asked rhetorically that I must have bought masks for the flight. "No, not really." "Think about it when someone is coughing just next to you. We bought masks for our family."

And so, they awakened the hysteria in me. I marched to the drug store and bought a packet of one-time use masks. What's the harm? I don't have to wear a mask, even I bought one. In the airport I noticed few passangers were wearing masks, but hey, this is China. In China, you can see people wearing masks anytime and anywhere. All the officers working at the airport had masks, though, so that much was new.

I got to the plane and left the packet of masks to the overhead compartment. I didn't see but a few who were wearing them. And the goddamit flu hasn't really been fatal outside Mexico. I think. I am not wearing the mask. Definately not.

A nice lady sat next to me. She doesn't look sick, I though. But then it started. People in all directions started coughing. Sneezing. Coughing more. Blowing nose. We looked at each other with my neighbour. Someone coughed just behind us. I saw her eyes growing in fright. We both felt the anxiety.

What if I get sick, and then I have to think back and wonder if I could have avoided the horrible pork flu just by wearing the stupid mask. "I know this might be ridiculous and hysterical, but I have face masks and I think I'm going to wear one" I said to my neighbour. "I'll have a baby in two months, I cannot get sick." She said with worry in her voice. "I have a whole packet of these things, so please go ahead and help yourself."

I have always - always- looked at people travelling hiding behind their masks a little silly. And there I was, with my pale baby-blue mask. Because they didn't turn the light off, I even topped that off and put on my eye-mask so I could sleep. My stupid eye-mask, which says "Genius at work", which I got from SAS flight. And then, because this combinations looked a bit more embarrassing than I can take, I put my baby-pink hood of my hooded-sweater on, to hide from the world. And I had my iPod headset on. I happened to get a glimpse of how I looked, from the reflection of the personal entertainment screen. Oh boy. Like some comical bank robber. Oh boy oh boy oh boy...

But I slept really well. Which I don't think would have happened without the mask. But I started wondering, what is the use of the mask, as I need to take it off anytime I eat or drink anything? Does it dimish my change of getting the darn flu by any degree? Or is it just to calm down some nervereck (=me) crazy (=me) passangers (=me)?

And what makes this embarrassment truly stupid is that as soon as I stepped out of the aircraft, I took the mask off. I could not imagine myself marching to the "Lufthansa Senator lounge" wearing it :o) And, in my connecting flight to Helsinki, I did a quick health check and deemed my fellow-passangers healthy, and forgo the mask. My hysteria was cured by then. I still have about 8 masks. In case it strikes again.

1 kommentti:

Bradpetehoops kirjoitti...

H1N1 prevention is on my blog! Have a nice day.