Thursday, May 7, 2009

Better Safe Than Sorry?

I’m not sure what to think. Either Japanese people are really sick and considerate of those around them, or they are extremely paranoid. I boarded my flight today only to be greeted by what looked like a scene from a movie…something entitled Planes, and the Viruses that Attack Them. Or maybe they were filming the new episode of 24. Don’t get me wrong…I watch the news. I know the fear and panic that has gripped the world because of this darn swine flu. But being surrounded by a plane full of people with surgical masks on, frantically wiping down every surface with their antibacterial wipes and throwing dirty looks at anyone who so much dares to clear their throat is a bit…much. In my opinion.

Maybe if we were on a flight from Mexico City it would make some sense. Maybe. And even if we are smart to be overly cautious, I must say that it just looks terribly amusing. I’ll tell you what’s not amusing though. Landing in Japan and having all flights be quarantined while medical personnel boards the flight and examines EVERY passenger and takes their temperature before anyone is allowed to deplane. I’m telling you, these people rushed on board and stormed the aisles covered from head to toe in protective gear with plastic coverings over their face like the world’s survival was at stake. All I needed now was to catch a glimpse of Jack Bauer because I had a hard time believing this was for real. We fill out paperwork, they shine red lasers at our forehead, and then we are given a yellow slip of paper that assures our freedom and ability to enter the country…if we promise to wear a mask. (Just kidding, we didn’t have to, but that seemed to be the hope as they shoved one in everybody’s hands.) Except not all of us were so lucky. I guess someone about ten rows back actually had a fever, or looked sickly or something, and so they, along with all the people sitting to the side, front, and behind them, had biohazard stickers placed on their seat and had to stay put and then be taken to further quarantine.

I guess I am thankful I didn’t fly last week, when I actually did have a bug of some sort. I probably would’ve had to turn around and get right back on a plane to California. I don’t know if it’s me, but this swine flu thing just doesn’t scare me. I’m looking at my odds compared to everything else out there that has a possibility of making me sick and they look pretty decent but it seems I’m all alone with that mindset…at least in Japan.


ktizzle said...

it is so hilarious to me to see the paranoia about the swine flu. there has been a few cases of it and to my knowledge ZERO deaths in the USA from it. However there's been thousands of deaths since January from the regular flu and there will be hundreds more every week.
on average 36,000 ppl die a year in the USA from the common flu influenza and up to half a million ppl worldwide.

what ppl really need to focus on is the modern epidemic that is going on in DC/Maryland within the Black community of HIV/AIDS. 1 in 4 urban residences have been said to have HIV!

Eeny, Meany, Miney, cough cough...

Brianna said...

EXACTLY!!! all these people wearing masks when they really need to be wearing condoms!

Anonymous said...

OMG!! I thought you were kidding this is totally over board.

ktizzle said...

one thing you have to keep in mind though Bri is that it's a cultural thing with the mask. in the Japanese culture it's somewhat a requirement to wear a mask if you are sick. as a courtesy towards others. but i do think all of them masked up like it's the ER is clownin'

but really though... condoms ppl condoms... the crazy thing is i know more black hypochondriacs then anything... "naw i ain't riding the train.. you might catch that Amtrax"
but they are more than willing to dip or let themselves be dipped in without the jimmy... ignorance is bliss isn't it?!

Bianca said...

I'm not worried about the swine flu either. I will say, however, that someone actually died from swine flu in my city. Second one in California this month.

Oink, oink,

Marcus said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about the quarantine thing. My friend just flew in last week and almost missed his connecting flight because they had one guy checking the whole plane which took almost two hours.

The Japanese are extemely paranoid about sicknesses and you did see masks like that all the time even before this swine flu thing. You may have noticed flying into Japan before on previous occassions that before you go through customs there is a medical checkpoint where they have thermal cameras pointing at everyone coming through and if you have a fever they will stop you. I guess now they just won't even let you off the plane.

Bianca said...

It's 5:23am in Osaka right now, but it's almost 3:00pm here. Since you'll be competing at 3:00pm, I'm going to pray for you at 3:00pm in both time zones :)

Who loves you, baby?