Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Extra precautions

I walked into the wrong side of the library tonight. I've never done that before, because there's never been a wrong side before. I was ushered back around to the entrance, where I was met by a man wielding - was that a thermometer? Was I going to have my temperature taken? Has swine flu overtaken Singapore with my knowledge?

Oh, no, that's just the wand they use to scan books. He requested to see my IC (identification card) and he scanned that instead. Next to me was a sign informing me that this was a precautionary measure to be able to track contact should the need arise.

So I'm trying to think this through: presuming I were to contact swine flu, and they determined that I had been at the library when I was sick. Does that mean they would contact every single person who had been at the library when I was there? (answer: yes, of course) What about all the people who touched books within 24 hours of me touching them but who weren't there during that time? I take a lot of books off the shelf, glance them over, and then put them back. Today I read the first chapter of a Sedaris book which was about him getting a job as an elf at Christmas. I had a good chuckle and then put it back. I could have put swine flu germs all over that puppy. Maybe they would make me recall all the books I took off the shelf. But what about all the books those books touched?

Furthermore, you might be able to contact every person in the library, but what if I then took my germ infested hands over to the Bishan mall which is right next door, and I touched a bunch of stuff in Cold Storage, and touched my way through the stacks in Popular, and then got on the MRT and grabbed that pole . . .

I applaud their effort. You can't blame Singapore for being a bit paranoid - after all, they were one of the hot spots of SARS. I just have to question the efficacy of this method.

On a similar note, I received an email today informing me that our office fun day venue has been changed because the place where we're going to have it (2 weeks from now) has been sanctioned as an official quarantine spot.

No one can say Singapore won't be prepared for . . . whatever ends up happening.

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