I’m not surprised by the extend of how much swine flu has affected Indians and caused deaths. There were no precautions taken when H1N1 was first diagnosed. When I had gone to Singapore in April, the airport had thermal sensors to check for people with high temperature and you know what we had in India, a piece of paper asking you whether you have high temperature or not and you just fill it up. That was the extend of the prevention steps taken in India.
In Singapore, the awareness for H1N1 was a frenzy. There were posters all over and every second ad in the TV stations were related to it. In a mall there, my mom happened to sneeze and the way people scattered and ran away just reminded me of the fight scene in the Matrix, where Neo pushes off all the Agent Smiths. It was too funny. Everyone was giving my mom dirty looks. Poor thing.
This was way back in April and there were no case of Swine Flu in Singapore. In India, nobody bothered and everyone continued with their lives as if it will never affect them. A death due to H1N1 had to finally wake up India and it’s been a whirl since then. A small boy died in Chennai due to it and his neighbor was working in my office. The next day he comes to office, hugs all his colleagues and informs that he’s the neighbor of the kid who died of swine flu. The other day a person comes running in and tell us that it has reached Guindy as if H1N1 is a passenger train or something.
People are queuing up to buy surgical masks and tamiflu. The pharmaceutical industry is making a killing out of this. Surgical masks are being sold for double the actual price. People are actually washing disposable masks and reusing them. We are that cheap. PR is like we are so cheap that we would go to the extent of using the masks that were already used in the States, just like how the cola bottles are being used. I won’t be surprised at all.
PR went to buy surgical masks for both of us since we are travelling by train shortly and wanted to be careful. The pharmacist informed him twice that they are disposable surgical masks and need to be thrown after one use. PR asked him whether they have masks in black. He wanted to be like a ninja.
I’m planning to write ‘I Suck’ on PR’s mask. It will be funny to see other people’s reaction. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for successful execution.
PS: Don’t tell PR. :)