Tuesday, June 23, 2009

H1N1 Flu Outbreak : A Lesson to be Learnt

As I was reading yesterday's papers, I came across an article on the rise of H1N1 flu outbreak cases may signal community break. And my mind kept wandering back to an incident that happened on my flight back from Bangkok to Singapore.

On that flight, I wore a facial mask as a preventive measures even though I was perfectly healthy. In my mind, I thought that I was doing some socially-responsible act. However, the two passengers who were sitting next to me starting to feel uncomfortable the moment they see me coming in wearing a mask. Immediately, they started to converse in Hokkien among themselves and also with a group of friends which were sitting in the same row across the aisle.

"Yuck, how can they (the air crew) let sick people boarding the train? Dunno how serious is her condition. Very scared later I got affected with H1N1 too"...

This is a part of their conversations. All along, they kept condemning me and the staff's irresponsibility for letting me into the aircraft. Sometimes, they even show their smirking faces. Sometimes, I even wonder whether they purposely converse in loud voices so that I could hear them.

After that, they started switching to other empty seats and left me alone in that row for the whole flight journey.

All this while, I just sit there listening and doing my own stuffs, ignoring their antics, even though I speak the same language as them. All the while, I was thinking to myself ...

1. Don't they know that twearing face mask in flu outbreak is a preventive measure to curb infection and spreading of virus?

2. I wasn't even coughing or having flu. What makes them think I was sick?

3. Yes, they have the right of speech, but not to the extend of slandering and condemning others without a valid reason.

4. They look like in their 20-30s yet their thoughts were not mature enough to handle this kind of situation. They could first verify with me, prior to making such a silly assumption as scared themselves to death.

5. And their remarks were so unfounded and targetted at the wrong party. Why should the aircrew be condemned in this case?

Well, initially I was annoyed by their ignoramus behaviour but after some time, I feel it is no use being affected by their shallow minds.

So my message to all of you here is :

If you happened to see someone in face mask, DO NOT IMMEDIATELY JUMPED TO CONCLUSION that the wearer is suffering from H1N1 flu. Verify first by noticing whether the wearer is really unwell or just wearing for prevention. Even if the wearer is really infected, please spare those smirking remarks and just go away from him/her quietly.

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