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Author Topic: "Watch Where You Cough..."  (Read 1341 times)

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Offline Since1993

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"Watch Where You Cough..."
« on: July 31, 2014, 08:28:01 PM »
Don't know what made me think about this but thought I'd share this story.  About a year ago, I went to my bi-weekly visit of my local library to scout out new releases and use the computer because my printer at home went kaput and needed to print an important document.

I saw down at a computer terminal and there was a middle-aged lady sitting to my right.  She was wearing a blue bandana over her noticeably bald head and a surgical mask over her face.  I smiled at her while sitting down and she acknowledged me.

After about a minute on the computer, I had a small spontaneous cough that I quickly turned to my left to dispel.  As I turned to continue on the computer, the lady with the mask says, "...you need to watch where you cough, I have Cancer.  You shouldn't go out in the public if you are sick."  Dumbfounded by her reaction, my immediate unfiltered response was, "Welcome to the club.  I have 20 T-Cells and not a lot of white blood cells. I have AIDS, not a cold or the flu. You are preaching to the choir."  Her immediate reaction was shock and she paused, acted as if she was going to say something, then got up from her chair and left.

Neither one of us probably had any business being at the public library that day, but needed to use the computer.  There are times that I have revealed my HIV status to probing individuals just to see their reaction.  In some cases, their reaction is to quickly remove themselves. 

It reminds me that people shouldn't ask questions they really don't want the answer to, and never judge a book by its cover.


Offline zach

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2014, 09:27:10 PM »
lol, you meanie. give her a hug if you ever run into her again

Offline tryingtostay

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2014, 12:12:18 AM »
the nerve of you!  you could of got her sick! hah   ;D ;)

Offline Joe K

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2014, 03:28:18 PM »
Maybe the next time you need to cough, you could do it into your elbow, or cover your mouth.  Turning your head to cough does nothing to prevent any possible germs from spreading, so the lady was correct in her request.

To me, your response to her was unnecessary as she had done nothing wrong.  She did not ask you if you were ill, she merely asked you to be considerate of those around you, by not coughing, without covering your mouth.

Joe

Offline mecch

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2014, 04:01:27 PM »
Sounds like 2 wrongs don't make a right to me.
If a person is so sick with cancer that she/he can't stand up to normal public circulation in public places, maybe he/she should stay home as well.
Also, cover your mouth.
Also, don't use your diagnosis as some sort of guilt trip or weapon, in public discourse, which is kinda what the lady did, as well.

Its like a person who has an allergy to perfume having a freakout self-righteous fit when someone is wearing a normal dose of scent to the movie theatre or what not. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Dachshund

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2014, 04:16:31 PM »
Gotta agree, it was a dick move.

Offline wolfter

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2014, 04:31:26 PM »

If a person is so sick with cancer that she/he can't stand up to normal public circulation in public places, maybe he/she should stay home as well.


Would that also apply to those with compromised immune systems?  I would have been house ridden for a few years following that logic.
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline mecch

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2014, 06:11:34 PM »
I think the OP thought turning the head to cough WAS a gesture to public health.

We all said, maybe better to cover your mouth.

That said, out in the public, people cough and sneeze etc and germs circulate. You can say "cover your mouth please", sure. But does anyone need a "lecture" no matter how brief from some stranger about his/her sickness and how a sneeze or cough is therefore especially "anti-social"?  Which was the gist of the lady's message, and how the OP received it, and why the OP lashed back.

Sounds to me both people here were lashing out at each other.

____

If someone's immune system is so compromised that going out in public is a danger, its probably, unfortunately, up to that person to protect himself/herself from the normal ways germs circulate in public...  Im not saying its ideal, its just reality.

Anyway, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 06:14:41 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mitch777

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2014, 08:19:07 PM »
Since1993 is a very new member here. To judge and analyze his actions in this post upsets me. Geez!! Lighten up folks!

Read his posts from day one. Nothing but great information and support. I for one would like to learn/hear more about the OP. He just joined us here!!

*sigh*

ps- Zach, for what it's worth your tone and humor fit the bill.












« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 08:23:51 PM by mitch777 »
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline zach

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2014, 08:42:00 PM »
i think this particular new guy can handle the fire, just a feeling

but i agree, we should all be mindful of how quickly we unleash the claws

Offline Since1993

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2014, 10:07:10 PM »
Since1993 is a very new member here. To judge and analyze his actions in this post upsets me. Geez!! Lighten up folks!

Read his posts from day one. Nothing but great information and support. I for one would like to learn/hear more about the OP. He just joined us here!!

*sigh*

ps- Zach, for what it's worth your tone and humor fit the bill.

Thank you for your kind words.  Having lived with HIV, then AIDS, then undectectable HIV over a period of 21 years, I like to share and be supportive of others, regardless of their personal circumstance.

One thing I have noticed that has changed since the epidemic began, is that people aren't as supportive as they once were.  When folks were facing almost certain early death, their perceptions and attitudes towards one another were much gentler.  Forward 20 years and some of the same barriers we once faced from the general public then (judgment, misinformation, intolerance) are now being projected onto ourselves from within our own community.  I feel it is one of the sources of apathy and increasing indifference towards people living with HIV/AIDS.

We have to learn to love one another a little bit more.  When you see your brother failing, it is your responsibility and duty to lift him up, not kick him when he's down.

Again, thanks for your kind words!

     

Offline Joe K

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2014, 10:11:08 PM »
i think this particular new guy can handle the fire, just a feeling

but i agree, we should all be mindful of how quickly we unleash the claws

Zach,

I'm frustrated when members respond to posts and other members characterize those responses as "unleashing the claws."  If we can't be honest with each other, what's the point?  It not like he did anything awful, but he played the AIDS cared, just like the lady pulled the CANCER card, so it's a lot of dick measuring in my opinion.  It also can lead to stigma, because when you proclaim to strangers your status, you have no idea in what context they may take that and that's why some folks think we are contagious.

If member were being intentionally cruel, that would be another thing, but nobody has done that and your insinuating that it is some kind of rebuke to the OP is really unfair.

I think it sends the wrong message to newer members.

When we can no longer laugh at ourselves... we are all doomed.

Joe

Offline Joe K

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2014, 10:21:32 PM »
Thank you for your kind words.  Having lived with HIV, then AIDS, then undectectable HIV over a period of 21 years, I like to share and be supportive of others, regardless of their personal circumstance.

One thing I have noticed that has changed since the epidemic began, is that people aren't as supportive as they once were.  When folks were facing almost certain early death, their perceptions and attitudes towards one another were much gentler.  Forward 20 years and some of the same barriers we once faced from the general public then (judgment, misinformation, intolerance) are now being projected onto ourselves from within our own community.  I feel it is one of the sources of apathy and increasing indifference towards people living with HIV/AIDS.

We have to learn to love one another a little bit more.  When you see your brother failing, it is your responsibility and duty to lift him up, not kick him when he's down.

Again, thanks for your kind words!

   

Since,

I cannot even begin to tell you how disappointing that reply was to me.  Some of us suggested you cover your mouth when you cough and that translates into the above how?  Since when did having a differing opinion translate into intolerance or "kicking you when you are down?"  Really?

Joe
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 10:29:29 PM by Joe K »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2014, 07:15:10 AM »
Maybe the next time you need to cough, you could do it into your elbow, or cover your mouth.  Turning your head to cough does nothing to prevent any possible germs from spreading, so the lady was correct in her request.

To me, your response to her was unnecessary as she had done nothing wrong.  She did not ask you if you were ill, she merely asked you to be considerate of those around you, by not coughing, without covering your mouth.

Joe

Matty the Damned agrees with Rev. Joe.

Cover your fucking mouth when you cough. What are you, an animal?

MtD

Offline wolfter

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2014, 08:07:11 AM »
Let me get this straight, our community now shows apathy towards our own, yet this thread showed a strong lack of empathy towards someone fighting another awful disease?

Perhaps this all didn't sit well with me because of watching my mother's battle with cancer that ultimately made her a shell of her once former self before dying.  She was given a death sentence from the beginning as her form of Leukemia had no treatment.  She was told she could possibly live 2 years. 

And I'm still concerned about the apathy towards this lady even suggesting she should stay home.  Is it possible her expenses are so great that she can't afford home internet service and MUST go use the library.  We don't know what her situation is.

My opinion is that it's absolutely awful to use the HIV/AIDS card to trump others' health issues.  In many instances, we are well controlled with medication and can expect a full life where as some people fighting other diseases have to deal with uncertainty and the possibility of imminent death.

These forums are very supportive.  I've witnessed some pretty awesome actions by many here.  But when ANYONE (I've done it myself) makes a post that inflames emotions there is bound to be some heavy discussion.  If someone doesn't want us to express our feeling and opinions, perhaps it's best not to make a post that subjects it criticisms and judgments.

OK, off to my golf outing where I can use the "crutches card" to receive special treatment.  That is unless I see someone in a wheelchair.   ;)
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2014, 08:12:39 AM »
<snip tiresome prattle>

OK, off to my golf outing where I can use the "crutches card" to receive special treatment.  That is unless I see someone in a wheelchair.   ;)

Have fun Wolfie!



MtD

Offline zach

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2014, 08:16:47 AM »
seems like more than anyone, we could (and should) have more empathy than the average person towards the sick... be it for cancer patients, or ebola patients flown into emory (being treated by my ID doctors, go team!)

there but for grace go i

as often as we say "it's just a bug" there is a lesson applicable to us as well in there

stay home, stay in quarantine, don't show yourself, don't stink up the joint

Offline Dachshund

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2014, 08:35:35 AM »


One thing I have noticed that has changed since the epidemic began, is that people aren't as supportive as they once were.  When folks were facing almost certain early death, their perceptions and attitudes towards one another were much gentler.  Forward 20 years and some of the same barriers we once faced from the general public then (judgment, misinformation, intolerance) are now being projected onto ourselves from within our own community.  I feel it is one of the sources of apathy and increasing indifference towards people living with HIV/AIDS.

We have to learn to love one another a little bit more.  When you see your brother failing, it is your responsibility and duty to lift him up, not kick him when he's down.

Again, thanks for your kind words!

   

I'm not sure what epidemic you were experiencing twenty years ago, but except for a very small minority of support, we were pariahs
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 08:39:48 AM by Dachshund »

Offline pittman

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2014, 12:08:38 AM »
[. . .]  It also can lead to stigma, because when you proclaim to strangers your status, you have no idea in what context they may take that and that's why some folks think we are contagious.  [. . .]

Not sure what your point is on this particular part of what you said.  I don't think proclaiming your status leads to stigma. It may bring stigma out in the open and force you to deal with it, but that is not really leading to stigma. (If that is in fact what you mean. )

Offline mecch

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2014, 06:30:28 AM »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2014, 06:36:26 AM »
If someone is afraid of you because they think you are spreading a cold or flu, and you respond, thats the least of your worries dearie, I have AIDS, too, and that someone is stupefied and even more afraid, you have added to stigma with the "inference" that the AIDS spreads by a cough. 
Not saying this was the OP's situation, just saying this is what Joe K might have in mind.

I think its human to take out your sickness or disability or life burden "cards" and play them too, when others are doing the same, without thinking much of how silly it can be, depending on the situation.  A lot of time people are probably having a bad day and are tired, sick, worried, whatever, and they aren't thinking about the social order.  People just lash out.   
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Joe K

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Re: "Watch Where You Cough..."
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2014, 01:59:13 PM »
Hey Pittman,

This quote from mecch better describes what I meant by adding to the stigma of HIV.  Thanks mecch!

If someone is afraid of you because they think you are spreading a cold or flu, and you respond, thats the least of your worries dearie, I have AIDS, too, and that someone is stupefied and even more afraid, you have added to stigma with the "inference" that the AIDS spreads by a cough. 
Not saying this was the OP's situation, just saying this is what Joe K might have in mind.

Joe

 


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