Monday, March 16, 2009

All aboard the bus to Fluville!

AS the sun sets on a glorious summer beside beautiful Moreton Bay, the bugs come out to play.
Not mosquitoes and midges -- other bugs fly around this time of year.
We can’t see some tiny organisms that proliferate every autumn but we can hear and feel their presence.
Hear: When coughing and sneezing interrupt pleasant conversations bubbling away on the shopper and commuter buses.
Feel: When someone just behind you lets go with a not-so-waterwise shower from an uncovered eruption of phlegm.

FLU fear can give anyone a bad start to the day. Must you hold your breath until other lungs vacuum up the virus-charged spray?
"The virus that causes influenza is mainly spread from person-to-person by virus-containing droplets produced during coughing or sneezing," Queensland Health says.
"The droplets can be spread up to a metre through the air and enter the body through the nose and mouth.
"A person can also catch influenza if they shake hands with an infected person or touch a contaminated surface such as a door knob or telephone, and then touch their nose or mouth."
The "metre" seems an understatement, according to a television documentary a few years back – a special camera caught a "free and easy sneeze" blasting its microscopic cargo high and wide. On that evidence, the fallout could go at least half a bus length.

ANOTHER observation from the autumn buses: Someone coughs or sneezes into their hand then grabs the same rail you would use to get to the door without falling over. Your trip ends like surfing on Straddie and, when you just get to the door, the bus lurches into your stop. You instinctively grab the last rail near the door and think of all the mucous-drenched hands that have grabbed it that day.
Then, even though you’re half starved, you can’t buy a pie until you find somewhere to wash your hand(s).
Hell, life’s tough in the flu season. I think we should all just stay home. But hang on, someone cares.
Even in the dying days of summer Victoria Point Surgery advertised its flu vaccine clinic. Maybe I can get to work, after all.

FOR the record, QH advises: "Don’t spread it around! If you get symptoms of influenza: stay at home until you are better; cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue and dispose of it;
wash your hands with soap and water after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, and before touching other people or objects that others might touch."
That means the flu inflicted, not the flu free, should do the surfing down the bus aisle.

Thanks for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Redland City, Queensland – on the shores of beautiful Moreton Bay.

No comments:

Post a Comment