Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cold germs all over me

I sat in the window seat this morning, next to a middle-aged woman who appeared very ill. Her nose was red and she even carried a box of Kleenex. I was already a little concerned at this point that I will catch whatever she has since I haven't been feeling 100% this week already. The ride ended up being a long and dangerous ride....she was coughing nonstop, not the light cough but the thick, deep, painful coughs where you can hear the phlegm shifting inside her throat and lung. She was also sniffling, sucking in her nasal fluids and sneezing. She blew her nose constantly and compiled the used germ-filled tissues on her lap.

I was extremely intense during the ride. I tried to "protect" myself with my BusinessWeek copy covering my face. But I realized that it was inevitable that I was breathing in her germs since I could feel the air from her cough and blowing.

With a busy day and weekend ahead, I am determined to not get sick. I took out my bottle of Purell and wiped it all over my hands. But then I realized.....wait, her germs are all over my body...from my face to arms. I can't be wiping Purell on my neck and face too. I decided at that point there is nothing I can really do but to take lots of Vitamin-C supplements to fight off the cold bug.

Sometimes I hope that people who are that ill should really take it easy and not force themselves to come to work, or opt to work from home. However, I know that is easier said than done. Needless to say, today's ride was high-risk. I hope I do not get sick!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

that's why in asian countries, you'll see people wearing the white surgical masks when they are outside. while we here in america may think it looks funny, we are also probably the ones that are getting infected with airborne viruses.

Anonymous said...

why is it that BART has carpet in most of its trains? i would think that carpet that is 15 years old would probably containg some serious germs... it would seem to make sense that linoleum or plastic type floors and seating would be easier to clean and maintain. are there any plans to switch?

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you just stand for this ride? I for one refuse to get near any of the sickies on BART. I'll pretend I'm getting off at the next stop and then just move somewhere else.

I have 2 new annoyances for you, ones which you apparently haven't had the pleasure of experiencing. I go between North Concord and Balboa Park, which basically means that I always have my pick of seats when I first board. The biggest annoyance I've seen is the people that for some really strange reason will sit right next to me on the aisle seat when almost the entire car is empty! VERY STRANGE and FREAKY! It doesn't happen that often but the fact that it happens at all is enough. Clearly these folks are mentally retarded in some manner. The other annoyance that happens at least twice a week is the people that are sitting next to me in the aisle seat from SF, but never move to another seat even after people have cleared out at Orinda/Lafayette/Walnut Creek, even though there are tons of available seats around. Again, I find this behavior very odd...

Andy said...

I for one never sit in the window seat, I take the aisle and gladly get up for anyone wanting the window, that way I never feel boxed in if I want to leave.... The only exception I have to this is the "4-square" seats that face each other. Those are easy to get up from if you're next to the window.

To the comment about carpet on the trains. They are experimenting with a new flooring. I've seen it on a few trains. It's smooth, but it's too slick. The carpet gives a good foothold even on rainy, wet days. The new floor material gets too slippery when wet.

ConcordCommuter said...

That ride to work sounds awful. If ever there was a good reason to work from home, that should be it. I'm surprised that somebody is willing to go out in public in such an obviously ill state.

I have often wondered what criteria people choose when selecting which row of seats to share, as often I will see people zero in on a particular spot. I don't really have a criteria, I just go to the first available seat that is not immediately near the doors.

bartmusings said...

about the 2 new annoyances...

YES!!! i totally agree with you. i actually wrote about that in one of my posts this past month. i never could understand why some people choose to sit right next to you when there are MANY MANY OTHER empty seats around! I like to have my space.

Last Friday, a stinky man (bad breath) chose to sit next to me in an empty train. I was trying to not be rude aobut his bad breath and started lightly fanning my magazine as if I was hot. But, I couldn't take it anymore...so I got up at a stop and just changed seats myself.

I'm sure he got the point.

Anonymous said...

I don't get up and move if seating in the train opens up. The person who feels uncomfortable should be the one to get up and move. And I'll sit next to someone in a seat near the door on an empty train if it's during the commute and I know the train will fill up because I hate climbing over people who won't move so I can get off. I've had people get up and move and that's fine with me. Buh-bye.

Honestly, I can't be paying attention to the train load and calculating whether or not the person will be offended if I sit here, or there, or don't move. I'm reading on the train most of the time, either the newspaper or for work, and really not paying attention to that kind of stuff.

Anonymous said...

It makes sense that you're "not paying attention to that kind of stuff" because clearly you are socially inept.

Anonymous said...

You should consider driving to work so you can be alone and not be inconvenienced by anyone sitting next to you. Or get a shrink.

Anonymous said...

Let' see ... if you don't pay attention to where you sit then you are socially inept, and if you do then you should consider seeing a psychiatrist. So helpful and full of penetrating insight. People like this who can't offer anything more constructive should consider the need to heed their own advice.

Anonymous said...

I believe a new study was done on hotel rooms and germs. They study concluded that bacteria and germs will live longer on plastics and metal and that they die quickly on fabrics/cloth.

That would make some sense as I've always wondered why they decided on cloth and carpet. However, I can't believe BART would've actually planned this.