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Battling those mysterious diseases

Posted: November 13, 2014 8:11 a.m.
Updated: November 14, 2014 1:00 a.m.

Just when I’m feeling pretty healthy, along comes a mysterious disease that is getting ready to kill millions of people, me included.

That’s right. Newspapers are filled with stories about the Ebola virus, a deadly illness that originated in West Africa. We’re told the United States is woefully unprepared to deal with such an outbreak.

Then there’s the Enterovirus, avian flu, Morgellons disease and all kinds of other maladies that are baffling doctors around the world.

What they’re doing is, they’re scaring the hell out of all of us hypochondriacs.

And on top of that, one of my favorite catalogs arrived and it was bristling full of news that germs are everywhere and if you want to live another 10 minutes, you’d better buy lots of devices to keep you safe.

It’s enough to drive a man crazy.

I’ve always been susceptible to diseases. When I was a little kid and I watched Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare on television, I came down with whatever the disease of the week was.

And now that the internet is slam full of medical information, it’s worse than ever.

Got a symptom? All you need to do is log on to find out what horrid disease is lurking in your system. And if you don’t have any symptoms at the moment, you can find out about all kinds of exotic illnesses and how they affect you and what the symptoms are, and if you’re like me, within a few minutes your brow will be wet and your palms clammy.

Downright scary, is what it is.

And about that catalog:

A travel products company regularly sends me a sales piece that I enjoy looking through but have never ordered from, and you just read a prepositional nightmare that would have my high school English teacher cringing.

The latest issue of the catalog features all the different devices you can buy to make sure that when you travel, you do so with the utmost sanitariness, a word I just made up.

A sampling of the items offered for sale:

• “The Seatwrap,” a polypropylene sheath that you carry onto an airplane and drape over your seat, intended to protect you from all those little cooties that the passenger before you was carrying on his lice-infested, disease-ridden body.

• “The Hotel Room Inspector,” an ultraviolet device that “detects contamination on bed and bath linens, countertops and toilet seats.” Yuk.

• “The Dreamsack,” a tiny little sleeping bag-like piece of fabric that you can use in a hotel, laying it on top of the bed and lying inside it rather than crawling between the sheets. “Those sheets may look clean,” the catalog warns, “but you’re wise to be wary.” Double yuk.

• “The I Can Breathe Mask,” which you place over your face to “avoid exhaust fumes, germs and industrial air pollution in large, crowded cities.”

• “Feetwrap,” little paper booties you can put on when those pesky airport security people make you remove your shoes. “You shouldn’t expose your feet to dirt, germs or fungi,” the ad states.

• And my personal favorite, the funnel-shaped paper “Urinelle,” which allows women to stand up while…well, this has gone far enough.

What’s happened is that I have become scared to venture out of my house. When I head for work Monday morning, I’m going to be carrying a Seatwrap, Hotel Room Inspector, Dreamsack, box of Feetwrap and at least two Urinelles, and I’m going to have to learn all about how to use the last one.

Should be interesting, and certainly germ-free.


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