I am getting texts and calls asking me if I am okay. The building down the street from me is quarantined. People on the street are wearing masks. I am going to a dinner and someone texts me about how many people are going b/c of the swine flu scare. In the airport if you get off an international flight you are greeted with masked faces and a thermometer.
The guy bagging groceries at the market is wearing a mask…I ask him if he is scared to catch what's going around…he says no, but he is wearing it because he interacts with so many people…Then I go home and read that unless that you have the flu, it is actually more detrimental to wear a mask…I am in a café and I see two guys sitting across from each other, both wearing masks, one removing it every once a while to smoke his hookah and the other removing it periodically to smoke his cigarette. There needs to be a public health campaign…
I mean all these incidents after the controversial culling of pigs (which started April 29) right after reports of swine flu outbreaks in other countries around the world….did someone to forget to tell them that it is not transmitted from pigs? What do you think is the best way to do a public health campaign for basic info on swine flu (now known as H1N1)? Any suggestions?
Till then, I am proceeding with day-to-day life normally, going to marketplaces, going to the tentmakers, work and life as usual (just cringing a little when stuck in a cab with someone coughing....).
Here are two pictures of signs (one on the doors of the American University in Cairo building and another at the airport).
Swine flu influenza is the first pandemic in 41 years. Find more info on how to protect yourself from it, and more details about the virus from the World Bank.