We are now in Tanzania for a conference and we had a layover in Addis Ababa on our way to here.
While enjoying my Walia beer and French fries at one of the restaurants, I noticed an alarming amount of people wearing surgical masks. Even some of the flight attendants on our way from Bamako were wearing them, in addition to gloves. I’m not used to seeing these types of things outside of our time in Japan.
There, people would wear surgical masks to not only avoid getting viruses and colds, but to also keep others from getting sick when taking public transportation. In Thailand, I would see people wearing them on their commute to avoid getting sick from the exhaust. In China we saw everyone wearing them to protect themselves from the pollution.
It was commonplace. But rarely did I see these things in Africa.
Now I know that there is now some insane hysteria around coronavirus and it has people really anxious about contracting the virus. Especially as it seems there are hundreds* of cases being diagnosed every day, I get how lack of understanding of what this virus is and the constant exposure to the propaganda can make people a bit crazy. And I can understand how that insanity and fear of contracting this strange and seemingly new supervirus can make one pay $50 for a surgical mask that costs a fraction of the price.
My opinion on the matter is really just do you, boo boo.If wearing a surgical mask and hazmat suit makes you more comfortable to live your best life and fly the friendly skies, so be it.
Just make sure you wash your hands after going to the bathroom, because there is no sense in protecting yourself from the 2020 plague and you get infected with e.coli because you don’t wash after you poop.
*A bit of an exaggeration. I admittedly do not follow this particular bit of news to know what the exact numbers are nor am I interested in researching it for this post. Google at your own risk, folks.