Catherine Gracey

Living Life, One Misadventure At A Time.

My Immune System Blames the Government

on September 19, 2012

On any international flight arriving in Australia, there will be an announcement asking passengers to advise the crew if they feel unwell, as it is a requirement of Australian quarantine that incoming flights notify them of sick passengers.

I have become convinced this week that my immune system takes note of the announcement and begins assessing the plane. It casts a sly glance around, whispering “come to me, my darling” to any germs that might happen to be passing by.

And the germs come. Oh, sweet god, do they come.

I never get sick on domestic flights, so I can’t put too much belief in the plane itself being the cause. I rarely get sick on long haul international flights when I am outbound, so I can’t even tell myself it is the long confinement that does it. And I never feel sick, until a day or two after my body has heard the announcement.

There are some souveniers I don’t particularly want to bring home, and the sort of cold that keeps me asleep for longer than jetlag can is on that list. I prefer things such as books, postcards, and little tourist maps of where I have been. They’re easier to carry, even if the germs do weigh less.

If I wanted to be rational, I know I could make a good argument that it is probably the result of becoming run down on my holidays. It is difficult to maintain the sort of nutrition your body is used to when travelling, and I know that I need to keep a certain level of balance with my diet or things begin to get unpleasant. There is also a significant amount of increased activity when I am travelling, and not always as much rest. It places a toll on my system, and coming home is the perfect time to repair the damage.

I get it, but I don’t have to like it.

Instead of being rational, I am going to continue my quiet blame of the Australian government and their rules. It makes me feel better when I’m stranded on my couch, unable to move without setting off another sneezing fit.


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