12 November 2005

Cold From Hell

All plans are off for an exciting weekend, not that I had plans, but I’d like the option. I have a nasty cold. It’s a no-brainer as to where I picked it up. About 80% of my students have been coming to class sick as dogs, sneezing and hacking, never covering their mouths, not that it would really help that much in a sealed environment.

I instituted my usual game plan aimed against acquiring any contagions but, obviously, it didn’t work. Most probably because the odds against me were doubled; half the teachers are also ill.

The other health risk on the horizon is Bird flu, which I am not concerned about. I figure if I am going to worry about getting a deadly disease, the one I have the most chance of acquiring is Dengue fever, which is very nasty. It comes in two forms: the first will make you super sick for a few months, and possibly leave you with residual effects. The second is a hemorrhagic fever, (think: Ebola virus), which will kill you in the most gruesome way imaginable. And there is little you can do to prevent getting bitten by the mosquitoes that carry it.

As it stands right now, I am not at high risk for Bird Flu, which doesn’t mean I don’t keep up-to-date on the WHO and CDC websites. I even took it upon myself to make a suggestion to the student cafeteria that they stop serving sunny-side-up eggs, as the virus can live in such an environment. I was happy to note that they stopped serving them. But yesterday I saw that they now cook eggs over easy, easy being the operative word. The virus could still linger on.

At least in the high-class, staff cafeteria, they are taking strict precautions. As of a week ago, they stopped serving chicken. However, quiche and omelets are still available. Not that I usually eat there.

Last week, having left my lunch at home, I went in to get a vegetarian sandwich having been assured by staff members that the staff lunchroom did not use MSG. Halfway through my panini, eggplant, hummus concoction, I knew that was not the case. I got a major MSG reaction and still had three hours of work to go.

The following day, I went in and asked the manager if they used MSG. “Of course”, she said, “food doesn’t taste good without it and the Pasture Institute checked it out and said there was nothing wrong with using MSG.”

I will stop writing now. I really shouldn’t send updates when I feel like hammered dog meat.
Time to eat more garlic.