Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Masked madness ...

Sucked into the group behavior, when panic stops the brain cells from functioning, when all the news continuously tell you about the 150 people who are affected by swine flu, and when your office administrative staff formally tabulates your family health status every other day, when your mother inquire about the flu-outbreak, I am a little confused. Frightened will be right word. Should I take some precautions? Can I take some precautions? I decided to take some, starting with a mask.

Yesterday I left office after 8 PM; the medical shops near my office were closed. I knew that the convenient stores sell masks, a bit expensive, but they sell. So I went to a convenient store near my office and found out that they used to sell 3 types of masks and ran out-of-stock on all three. OK, I guessed that most of my colleagues would have bought them on the way back. But wait, if I said most, which is around 3000, which means, we need masks for around 3000 people. That is a lot of masks. With the panic going on, I should have known that masks will never be available, I gave-up after visiting the 22nd shop. Well, till the madness stops, even normal people who need masks against hay fever will have to … wait.

Did I just say madness? :-)

So after this failed attempt scrambling for a mask, I realized that blood was indeed flowing to my brain. Being a techie, I thought I will do some cyber-scramble. I checked Amazon and a few more websites. And after some 45 minutes of browsing for a mask, I gave up. There seems to be too many geeks in Japan, every single mask in Amazon was out-of-stock. The mask makers will have a ball. Will they?

Tired of searching, I thought what will happen if I don’t wear a mask. I even started thinking, if indeed masks are any helpful. They may help, but not prevent, entirely. It seems that we need special masks, that which will prevent virus from entering them. And it seems that those masks are expensive and rare. Today, I saw many people wearing normal masks. And many of their noses protruding out … What can I say …Time’s the healer. Are these masks just a moral support?

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