Managing your risk exposure
Well that's gone and done it! How many times have I screamed at the neighbours, don't be smuggling chickens willy nilly across the border like that. Oh but it's a fair trade, they say, the mainland Chinese are getting counterfeit Memoirs of a Geisha DVDs in return. Yes well, I don't see how the threat of a rapidly mutating and deadly H5N1 virus can compare to the horrors of grainy image quality and poor sound.
OK deep breath....no need to panic...everything will be fine once you take the necessary precautions.
It's really not as bad as it looks. The green gauze acts as a filter between your cavities and the virus emanating from a sick bird. The sleeves and pockets are filled with soap & water so that your hands are constantly in a state of thorough ablution. The orange waistband sort of holds it all together like a red string in the Kabbalah universe.
In crowded quarters, a heavy-duty mask is advisable. And no, I don't think wearing this particular style is labouring the point at all. Neither is making a clucking noise at someone who is exhibiting questionable hygiene.
Diseased birds have a bad habit of crapping on your head, right before they lose the will to live and plummet to the ground below, using your head as a handy x-marker. You need to hedge against both these possibilities and as the old saying goes, two hats are better than one.
Ultimately the key lies in how well you manage your risk exposure. Everytime you step out unprotected, you are practically inviting a chicken to come and flap its feathery wings of pestilence in your face. In these trying times, there's no such thing as being too safe.
Another blog to visit: SF Civic Center - San Francisco as seen through the Civic Center neighborhood: its politics, arts and characters.