Friday, May 01, 2009

Mileage Run

I'm doing one of those crazy mileage runs, quick overseas trip that makes sense due to the cost of the ticket, and/or mileage bonus in return, going from Minneapolis to Singapore for an extended weekend. Plus, I needed to pick up a few things from the grocery store, and was kinda "homesick" for Singapore.

Interestingly, this is concurrent with the flu threat. I'm currently at Narita Tokyo airport, where the Japanese Ministry of Health has really gone overboard on trying to protect people from the flu. Apparently, as a part of new procedures, planes from the US are held up at the gate, while officials come in with thermal imaging cameras to check people's temperatures (at least non-invasively), ask you to fill out forms about your health, where you've been, etc, and requiring everybody to wear masks as they exit the plane. That was really an interesting experience, considering masks are actually not that effective in preventing you from getting the flu. (although they are more effective in preventing people from spreading it), but yet at the airport, there's nothing keeping you from taking off the masks, and there are plenty of people who aren't wearing them. (probably from non-US flights).

Just to put it in scale, regular flu kills something like 30k people in the US every year, and we're seeing this reaction where there's been only 10-20?

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