Chance Meeting: A Travelers Dilemma with the Flu

By Miguel Agustin Bustillos posted 01-14-2013 10:10


Chance Meeting: A Travelers Dilemma with the Flu
By: Miguel A. Bustillos

Today, as I waited to catch my plane from Florida to Maryland, I could not disregard thinking about the flu. People waiting to board the planes were sneezing and coughing. They used their hands to cover their mouth and nose trying to be polite. They went on as if nothing was wrong, touching everything in sight. They touched napkins and rails and other people. In the background, I could hear the news reporter talking about the flu infection in NY. It seems the disease is very prevalent there.

The flu, being as serious and infectious as it is this year, is being ignored by most people. It seems that everyone is going about their business as usual. Is this a result of flat out disregard for safety or just plain ignorance on disease prevention?
As I sat there thinking about how easily the flu could spread inside an airport, I turned around to listen to the news. I could hear the news reporter talk about the number of infections around the world and the flu emergency in NY.
This newscast was just like any other newscasts in that it failed to mention the precautions that the public needs to take in order to stop the spread of the disease.
The flu can be fatal. In 1918, 500 million people were affected by it. Nearly 20 to 50 million people were killed round the world. The flu is not something to be taken lightly. Having taken care of people with the H1N1 virus, I know the damage the flu can cause.
I wondered how many people will catch the flu as a result of this flight. A full plane, being such a closed tight place, can be a perfect place to get infected. If only people would take precautions to protect others. If only proper and thorough education was there to help people understand how the flu spreads.
If only…
Flu prevention strategy:
1) Wash your hands constantly
2) If you cough, use your elbow, not your hand.
3) If you sneeze, use your elbow, not your hand.
4) Wash your hands constantly
5) Avoid buffets, they are hotbeds viruses
6) Get vaccinated
7) If you are sick, avoid others.
8) Avoid touching your mouth and eyes.
9) Clean and disinfect all areas.
10) If you are sick, try antiviral medicine.
11) Wash your hands.
12) Wear a mask when possible


I really wish the news would concentrate more on the prevention of the flu, and less on how fast it has spread. Maybe this article will help some people understand how easily the disease can be prevented with the proper preventive steps.