Contagion on the long-haul flight to Houston


I feelsorry for the guy sitting next to me on the plane to Houston, with me blowingmy nose every five minutes. Still, right after take-off he falls asleep, andstays sound asleep for five hours. How does he do that?

I’ve readthe paper, done some Chinese homework and then watched a couple of films. Thesecond one is Contagion. It is about people like us who move around from placeto place, spreading their contagion. Gwyneth Paltrow has a leading but veryshort-lived role. I don’t want to spoil the film for anyone, but she’s deadwithin the first ten minutes. After that, the characters are dropping likeflies.

Thedisease spreads through people on buses, in schools, in casinos, on planes,through touching surfaces, coughing and sneezing. They don’t even have to geton to people gathering at conferences, shaking hands or air-kissing. Afterwatching the film I resolve to keep a clear metre away from everyone inmeetings this weekend. And to be prepared for the next mass outbreak of adeadly virus, as soon as I get home, I’m going to fill up the freezer and put afew multi-packs of bottled water in the shed.


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