Saturday, June 02, 2007
Public Health Fears UnMasked
You know what really burns my ass about the Atlanta lawyer who flew knowing he had wildly drug-resistant TB? The reaction of the average person to someone in a mask.
Yeah. International public health nightmare. Domestic quarantine and national security policy. It all boils down to ME. :)
I already hate that when I wear a mask out in public that people react as if *I* am the person who is infectious, rather than the one trying to protect myself from THEM. I'm always given a wide berth, especially by parents of other kids when I'm at the park with Bambina. I'm obviously used to it now, months later. But I still hate the implication that the mask represents a danger to others, rather than the other way around.
Thank you Andrew Speaker, you selfish a**wipe. I know he says the doctors didn't say overtly and seriously "you must not travel," but come ON. I got my counts one day in Baltimore and asked my doctor what this meant for my travel plans to my friend's baby shower. He said, "I wouldn't recommend that you get on a plane." Now, did that seem more clear to me than to Mr. Speaker because the person whose health was at risk was mine rather than numerous, faceless others? What part of a world-renowned doctor saying, "I wouldn't recommend you getting on a plane" doesn't make you cancel your flight? Did he need to say, "you will be arrested and quarantined if you get on a plane" to make the point? Speaker was selfish, pure and simple. He's not a stupid man. He's a personal injury lawyer, for heaven's sake. One wonders what his position on his flight of fancy would be were one of his clients to have sat next to him?
On a larger note, one wonders if he'd have made it as far as he did if he hadn't been young, professional and white. You know, "clean" and healthy-looking. If he'd been a dock worker or a janitor, or Black or Latino or Arab, anyone wondering how this story would have gone?
Regardless, I shake my fist at you, Andrew Speaker, for impugning the good work of the N95 mask. I'm sending you the bill for the "NonToxic" T-shirt I'm gonna have to make for myself for the park...