Thursday, September 03, 2009

Swine Flu and Ignorance

I was at the International Clinic the other day, waiting with a gazillion other people in the waiting room. People all around me were reading the clinic's magazines and newspapers. I kept my arms folded in my lap the entire 45 minute wait (and vowed to go home and scrub my elbows - the only part of my skin that had touched anything in the waiting room). One guy walked in with a mask; he was also reading a paper. Someone looked at him and said, "Don't worry..." I said, 'Yeah, you have a better chance of catching Swine Flu from that newspaper you're holding than anything airborne.' The Kuwaiti woman next to me looked up, wide-eyed in shock, and said, "WHY?!" (magazine still in hand). I said, 'Because you never pick up a magazine in a doctor's office. Think about it. How many sick people before you have been handling it?' The whole waiting room practically threw the periodicals on the tables.

I mean, c'mon people - this is basic common sense...

With all the hype, I haven't seen too many parents teaching their childen NOT to put their hands to their mouths (which is exactly what the Kuwaiti woman's daughter did after throwing her magazine on the floor). I figured I had done enough psychological damage for one day to mention that little tidbit.

WHY do medical facilities even HAVE periodicals in their waiting rooms right now? Doesn't anybody get it? There should be anti-bacterial wipes/wash on all the tables instead of magazines.

I also still see people walking around and coughing into the open air without covering their mouths. At this point, I don't think it is inappropriate for ANYONE to chastise people for not covering their mouths. They could be infecting everyone around them.

Well, not that any of this is going to do any good. All the raw sewage that is seeping out all over Kuwait will probably carry enough germs to get most of us anyways.

And on this note.... I was home sick the other day when my maid was there. I'm usually at work. I noted the one bottle of cleaning fluid that she was using: Fairy. She cleans my ENTIRE apartment with Fairy. WTF?! I have tried to educate her over the years and she still doesn't get it. Guess what I threw out? ALL the Fairy; and she's not getting any more.

12 comments:

jessyz said...

Hahahah!
My cleaning lady likes to use laundry detergent to clean everything. After having to redo stuff using Dettol she now knows better.

kYx said...

Hola... how are you? Long time... hows tricks with ya? All well??? You aint catchin' no damn swine flu... carry on partying.... smile...... cause you make us smile!!

Sam said...

I think the whole thing was blown way out of context.
I'm not underestimating the value of personal hygiene, but I'm saying there's a very well made immune system that comes with our bodies, that -under normal conditions - is able to defend us against "most" germs, bacteria, virus, fungi, etc.
I admit Kuwait is not exactly "normal conditions" as you're moving between extreme heat outdoor and rather cold indoor, plus the pollution, dust, and God konws what left overs form previous wars, I admit that might weakens the human immunity system, but not much for a previously healthy subject.
What I'm trying to say, go out, expose yourself to the surrounding environment, yes, there're zillions of bacteria, viruses and other forms of germs all around, but we're bigger and stronger than them, OK?
Even swine flu thing was also blown out of context, masks and Tamiflul, isolation!!! germophobia, in Egypt they slaughtered all pigs "no kidding" for fear of being hosts!! even more, in Kuwait University, they excuted all "Guinea Pigs" for same reason, the poor little furry animals, not only they have to suffer "experiments" for all their life, but they get confused with Pigs and excuted just because of their names, those little things are rodetns not even related to pigs by anymean!!
Add lemon to your food, eat fresh vegetables and fruits, drink enough water, and you'll be fine. do you believe there was a recommendation in Cairo that says "stay away from crowd" yeah, right, in a city with 10 millions in it!!
The buttom line is, H1N1 is not much more than any of the other 300 flu viruses present on earth, the fear was regarding it's fast spread due to aviation, and fear of possible mutation of the virus into something more dangerous, but right now, it's just flu, unless you're having bad immunity system due to diabetes, pregnancy, old age, bad heart, or chronic illness, you're probably not gonna die out of it.
and DG, take it from a doctor, I clean my house using regular detergents, Dettol goes for clinic use mainly, well, plus bathrooms at home only.
Ignore all the TV commercials about Dettol and Lifebouy soaps, they're no use more than regular soap.
Sorry for being long, but I thought your readers deserve to hear the "other opinion" ;)

Anonymous said...

What about all the people here that just LOVE to try to get you sick when they already are? You know the ones that are extra extra smoochie and THEN start telling you how sick they are. Those dear sweet people. They must be giddy with excitment about being able to spread around the swine flu. Gail

Desert Girl said...

Sam - likesay, it is basic common sense. There's good hygiene and then there's bad.

papyrus said...

I was not referring to common sense stuff DG, i was talking about exaggerated panic from population.
By the way, I have no idea why my name came "Sam" on my last post, it's me "Papyrus" :)

~:C:~ said...

I'm with you on this one. My school is making it mandatory for students to each bring their own hand sanitizer to class just like they would paper and pencils.

(Sorry I've never commented before. I love your blog, but had a tendency to lurk last year. Now I'm coming out of hiding.)

Desert Girl said...

Gotcha Papyrus. I know what you mean - in the US for example, they aren't making such a huge deal out of it, but then there are lots of hygiene practices already in use there...

C - Lurkers are always welcome! :) Thanks for stopping by.

I think it is a great idea for everybody to be walking around with hand sanitizer. It is so different if you visit the States - even the shopping carts in the grocery stores are equipped with antibacterial wipes - which makes a lot of sense.

I look around me and see all kinds of disgusting acts of dirtyness and I don't want to have any PART of my person touching anything that those 2-legged swine have. EW.

I'm not limiting that to any group on any continent. I'm saying that a lot of people are just plain dirty.

Ever seen those skits where the actors are wearing full-body condoms... well..... :)

Ali said...

is their a vaccine or not yet?

Papyrus said...

No vaccine yet, there might be one ready soon

Anonymous said...

There are thousand with "Swine Flue and all want to wear the mask,...

There are Millions with Aids no one wants to wear Condoms....

Anonymous said...

While hand sanitizer has its place, it is equally important to WASH YOUR HANDS- properly. Schools and parents should not just hand out sanitizer, they should also take the time to teach students how to wash their hands. It is possible to make this a non boring talk- teach your children to sing a song they would enjoy that is long enough to last for proper hand washing. Everyone should realize they need to cover their nose/mouth to cough or sneeze and wash their hands afterward. I totally agree with the doc, most of us have very well made immune systems. But not all of us are so lucky and we should practice good hygiene to protect ourselves as well as those with lowered immune systems. Regular detergents are good for most household cleaning. As a registered nurse in the U.S., I saw both extremes- parents that demanded antibiotics and overused strong cleaning agents, thereby destroying good bacteria and parents that harmed their children by not keeping their family and their enviroment clean, providing healthy food and making sure their children were up to date with shots. We need to be careful with our use of antibiotics. Overuse builds up resistance which can lead to new strains that are resistant to medication. We see this now with MRSA which is,in my opinion, much more of a danger than swine flu.
Common sense, washing the hands, hand sanitizers when necessary and a good diet is enough for most of us to stay healthy and happy.