Saturday, March 29, 2008

Party Boat or Floating Petri Dish?

Hello Friends:

It looks like a nice, safe, big boat. White and clean. Yep. But what lurks within the bright halls, the quaint little staterooms, and more importantly, on every door handle, elevator button and buffet spoon?

I don't know. But I'm going to go on a cruise, anyway.

Because while some 'Adventures in Anxiety Land' are about getting out of bed and seeing if breakfast will be edible today - others are real adventures. Yep. A cruise. I really want to go on one, and I'm scared to death I'm going to spend the whole time with, ahem, projectile effluent from both ends. And more than just the hassle of getting sick and feeling sick, which is what everyone puts up with, it is the ANXIETY about it. If you are terrified of illnesses, like I am, then any illness represents a possible lethal risk. The mind of the OCD person is black and white - alive or dead, and the 'Cruise Crud' that goes around (norovirus) represents a really serious threat for us OCD'ers. So I can't stop the compulsion to get on the net and learn a stupid amount, probably more than is good for me, about this virus, and to make a plan for dealing. COMPELLED to try to make a plan for dealing, looking for that MAGIC FORMULA that will ensure I am safe if only I follow the rituals exactly. You know the tune, sing along! It's all lies, of course. We know perfectly well there is no magic formula, for anything. The world can be so distressingly grey-area.

But I'm still plotting. I've gone to Cruise Critic to see what others on cruises do. And it's not obvious, as usual. Does one take antiseptic wipes along and try to cleanse every surface? How about not touching any door knobs or elevator buttons? I mean, I don't do that anyway if I can help it, really, but on a cruise this is actually discouraged if they know something is going around. So it's hard to find that mushy line that we are always looking for, the 'reasonable' reaction.

I've spent about 20 hours of the last three days doing research on what actually kills norovirus and how to go about using it. Ah, problem with that - turns out that this virus is not as damaged by alcohol as most others. Chlorine bleach seems to be the only real option. I happen to be terrified of bleach. And like you could bring it on a plane, anyway ...

Your Hostess With Neuroses


Andy said...

I'm sure we can find some use for alcohol. :)

Your Hostess with Neuroses said...

That's brilliant! And you couldn't be more correct - I like the way you think.

amy said...

I have been on four cruises, and something they have added in the last few years is those little hand-cleaning alcohol dispensers around the ship. I use them all the time. Might help you feel a little better.

I have never caught a bug on a ship, and I have compromised immunity from medications for a blood disease.

I think you're going to have a surprisingly great time. And there's booze everywhere.

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