Pregnant, flying as Swine flu pandemic is declared
It's the week of my brother's wedding. Seven months pregnant and jittery about flying (my doctor said it was safe to fly), I'm worried about airplane germs and contemplating buying a face mask. On the day of my flight from Florida to Michigan, the World Health Organization finally formally declares the Swine flu outbreak a pandemic.
At the airport, I ask a TSA official where I can get a mask. He points to a shop behind him. There, I buy one for about 2 bucks. I feel like a hypochondriac once I unwrap it on the plane. As far as I can tell, I am the only one with a mask on my flight to Detroit, in Detroit Metro Airport, on the flight back to Tampa, and at Tampa International.
"Don't these people know there's a pandemic going on?" I wondered as I took note of several folks at each location coughing and sneezing almost nonstop.
On the way up, I apologize in advance to my row-mates, which include a mother with an infant, who smartly brought along disinfectant wipes for the flight. Then my mask goes on. I get curious looks, but, considering that quite a few of the fatalities so far from swine flu have been pregnant women, I am taking no chances. I also came armed with cough drops and hand sanitizer. I can feel the difference as the humidity that my mask creates keeps my throat from getting dry, which helps fight off the dreaded airplane cold.
-- Dory Knight-Ingram