Reality. When my colleague from China announced that she had contracted tuberculosis, I realized that because we pursue similar work activities around a region of the world I am just as vulnerable as she was. My immediate thought was that she may have been easily exposed during her flights. A simple cough or sneeze from a seatmate is a timebomb as droplets of potential TB bacteria circulate through the cabin into the clueless mass of passengers. Yes, travel is a lethal vector in mankind's health misfortunes.
A couple of years back, I felt invulnerable by not wanting to wear face masks in planes and in airports even when the SARS virus raged. That epidemic I know was taken very seriously not only by airport authorities but also by passengers themselves. At its height, I boarded a plane from Charles de Gaulle and pleasantly found the flight which is usually overbooked to have been less than half-filled. Despite that, I was not bumped into the next higher class.
Back home, my route at around 6pm takes me through a major street with hovels of videoke joints where retinues of young women front these establishments serving beer and barbecued pork. Working class gentlemen are among regular customers. I am nearly certain that on lucid moments with beer in hand and a tune to beat, these men suddenly kiss their women-hostesses on lips, not the dry kind though. A fertile ground for TB infection. Whether all these women are carriers or get infected by their clients is not an issue anymore in the same way that these workers are supposedly certified by the local health authorities. As TB is a public health problem, I do not think that preventive measures are easy to institutionalize particularly when they threaten livelihood and the economy.
After a long while (haven't had any last month), I posted this not-so entertaining item but thought it may be relevent today from following the blogs I had.