Modern phobias

by | Aug 20, 2010

I’m going to Melbourne shortly, mainly to talk to mobs of kids for Children’s Book Week (on which note, I congratulate my fellow writers for their success in the awards, particularly the magic-dusted Sally Murphy).  En route I will be wearing a face mask to stave off flu germs, which I’ve been trying to avoid at home by using vast quantities of alcohol gel and coughing-person-avoidance.  When I worked at the Department of Health, there was a bird flu epidemic scare, which prompted me to buy a water tank, several 10kg bags of rice and hundreds of cans of foodstuffs (since passed their expiry date, and into landfill. Sorry!).  There will almost certainly be a pandemic of some description in the not-so-distant future, for which face masks will doubtless be useless.  Nevertheless, my neurosis re germs knows no bounds.

I consider my ability to catch public transport, therefore, to be amongst my greatest achievements.  Sure, I may cover my face when people near me cough into the general atmosphere instead of their elbows, and I lather my hands with alcohol gel the minute I get on or off a train, but just getting on with hundreds of other people breathing into the same square metrage I inhabit is commendable.  I do, as regular readers will note, enjoy reading over people’s shoulders, which makes up for covering my face with scarves and getting scabby hands from over-washing.

Anyone else have a phobia they’d like to own up to?

And yes, I’m a Virgo.  How did you guess?

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