Monday, July 16, 2012

No pictures, just a rant about sanitation...

It’s been a long few days. It has been since before Reykjavik in fact that I have felt like a decent human being. Luckily I do not have the intestinal illness that a large number have had since we got all the new people in Dover. I merely have a persistent cough.

I’m starting to write this while (or, as the Aussies say, whilst) sitting in the Medical Center waiting to see the doctor for the second time; the first being four days ago. It is a veritable beehive of activity here, patients coming and going, nurses coming and going, the doctor bustling about. They are open for business twice a day for drop-ins and, of course, 24/7 for emergencies or diarrhea.

The intestinal bug is the one they are really worried about and is the reason the ship is now on Plan B for dealing with the bug. Plan B (my name for it not the ships; the ship won’t really talk about  it) means among many other things that we may or may  not see: no salt/pepper shakers on the tables; no serving yourself in the buffets; no getting your own mustard and ketchup at the grill; no rolls or butter on the table in the dining room, if you want a roll with butter you must ask for it to be served to you. There is also more evidence of sanitation being performed around the ship such as the railing being wiped down (presumably) with an antiseptic.

What I have not understood is why there aren’t more “hand-sanitation stations” around the ship. There are sanitation stations at the entrances to all the eating places but there weren’t until the intestinal bug took hold, maybe a couple of weeks into our journey. THEN they appeared at all eating places. Before, they had only been at places where you served yourself—the Horizon Court. That’s it. On Holland America they were all over the ship, food establishments and the casino and the spa and the pools and and and. Makes a lot of sense to me. I used to use the alcohol sanitation pretty much every time I went past a dispenser; seems like that would help with problems with germs on the stair and hall rails, the tables in the bars, door handles, the computer room, everything.

The ship has closed the library indefinitely but not the internet café (computer room). This surprises me and doesn’t surprise me at the same time. I think there would be a mutiny if they closed the internet café (21 computers), but it also seems to me to be a place where the germs causing diarrhea would love. They do have a dispenser for wiping down the keyboards but I haven’t seen anyone using them other than me. And the cynic in me says, The library doesn’t generate any income, the internet café does.

The ship is also saying that handwashing is better than alcohol cleansers. It SAYS that is what the CDC says, but that is not what I have been teaching my first aid classes; I teach—and thought it came from the CDC—that unless your hands are visibly dirty, alcohol is as good as hand washing. P2, what do you think?

It’s going to be really interesting to see what the bill is for this visit; first visit was $156 for 1 med ($62), the doc visit ($75), and the pulse-ox machine (the little gizmo they stick on your finger to see what the percentage of O2 in your blood is) $19. (I won’t go into what I think about charging for the pulse-ox! Other that to say that that is the same as a thermometer and they don’t charge for that.) The first bill almost beat me back to the room! This ship is nothing but fast when my dollar is going into their pocket!

Postscript the next day: The bill arrived, a relatively pleasant surprise: total $213 of which $110 was for medications (including one antibiotic at over $10 per pill!).

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear that you're sick, Pam. What a bummer! All the best for a speedy recovery so you can really enjoy the rest of your trip.