Saved, whew! That was close.
First the heart attack, then the operation. Everyone was worried you would make it.
Touch and go now though. Even though you’re out of ICU.
Carelessness costs lives
Friends, see. Well-meaning but deadly.
Hey, hiya, how are you? Kiss, kiss, looking good.
Two of them, straight in off the street, on their way tea at the Ritz.
Alright for some. They can get away without washing their hands, they’re not stuck in bed rigged up with wires and tubes. Healthy, up and going, chances are good they’ll throw off any bug. Not like you – cannula, sutures, open body apertures and vulnerable.
Out of sight, out of mind
They could have used the antiseptic gel at reception, but breezed straight in. Or the gel at the entrance to the ward, but this is a quick visit. Or the gel in the squidge-bottle at the end of your bed.
All a bit of a rush, though. Kids to school, morning coffee, the supermarket schlep, usual stint at the charity shop, then straight here. Can’t bring flowers, they don’t allow it – pollen hazard to other patients. Choccies are good though – and this is a big box.
Kiss, kiss, hold hands.
Ooh, not so much of that. Hands LOOK clean, but they’ve been on the steering wheel – and remember that panic session with Julia’s little one yesterday? Emergency nappy change, right there on the driver’s seat. Poo everywhere.
Yeah, yeah, nice to see you. Nice when you’re gone too, too waggy dog for a convalescent.
And the damage is done, isn’t it?
Norovirus at the worst possible time. From hands that look clean but aren’t. They never are, straight in off the street. Which is why all the gel bottles.
Highly contagious, invisible transfer
Six hours later it’s you that gets the price tag. Violent upchucks that rip your sutures apart. A run to the loo because the night nurse isn’t quick enough with a bedpan. Drip-stand, wires and everything trailing behind you. Crash to the floor, you can’t move your arm and it feels like a fractured cheek.
And of course, the norovirus signature – poo everywhere.
A bad one this, the duty doctor’s called the crash cart. You’re going into arrest from all the convulsions and they can’t take chances. Code Blue, shut the ward, de-fib on the floor in a pool of poo. Double-plus super not hygienic.
1,000 volts, right through you. Back splatter from electrified poo – going to be a few medics with the runs and upchucks too.
Not working, you’re gone. No heavenly lights or anything, just black.
No breathing in the black, no anything, just a ringing sound.
Oh, that smell! You’re back and everything hurts, your worst experience ever. And heaving too. That’s not 1,000 volts, that’s you.
The end of the world – almost. All from beautifully manicured hands that LOOK super-clean.
Except you can’t see germs – ever. That invisible super-thin layer that gathers on all of us every second of the day. No trace of dirt, not even of micro-dirt. This is NANO-DIRT, so fine you need a microscope to see anything – and even then you could miss it.
Yeah, norovirus. Always around, highly contagious, just waiting for an unguarded moment. Transferred from things you touch – everyday stuff, supermarket trollies, door handles, your phone. And all it takes is 10 tiny particles – less than half the next most potent bug, flu-virus.
From your hands to the biscuit with your coffee – or the soft part next to your eye because you rub it when it waters. So easy, so quick.
And totally preventable with soap and water or antiseptic gel.
Yeah, norovirus – with complications, you could die. And people do, around 80 a year in the UK. But it’s not hospitals that give it to you – you watched them closely, lying there – these places are rub and scrub, 24/7.
No, no, not hospitals – the real cause is careless friends and family. People who would be horrified if it ever occurred to them. But it never does when hands LOOK clean, does it?
Wash, wash, wash
Soap and water before and after doing anything – or pay the price. Otherwise, sooner or later, it’s gonna get you. Before food and after loo, always – or else.
And not just you, but everything around you too. Norovirus transfers from things you touch – from thing other people have touched. Floats around even on the air itself – sure it does, it’s smaller than dust, smaller than smoke, smaller than perfume particles, why ever not?
Which is why norovirus is so impossible to get rid of. It’s a survivor. And in densely-packed places like schools, offices, restaurants, hospitals – and of course, cruise ships – it collects victims like wildfire.
And yeah, sure enough, right now there’s another cruise holiday ruined for thousands – Anthem of the Seas, turned back for the second time in weeks – the first time by a full-blown live hurricane, the second by a grinding hurricane in passengers’ tummies.
Good luck with fixing that – norovirus spreads everywhere. That’s why it’s so violent – to spread its awful discharge of puke and poo as far and wide as possible. Unless a clean-up reaches into every crack and crevice, it’ll be back, again and again – repeat performances are its party trick.
An end to it all
Which makes you glad there’s a Hypersteriliser. The fine mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide it puts out is electrostatically charged. Super-fine oxidising molecules of H2O2 jostle to get away from each other, almost lighter than air, pushing against walls ceilings and all surfaces, penetrating deep into every nook and cranny.
Forty minutes, an hour – and the whole place is sterilised. Germ free and secure for you, back from the dead for a second time. Saved yet again, to live another day.
As long as your friends wash their hands.
Picture Copyright: auremar / 123RF Stock Photo