The Doc Martin Effect

Having watched the UK show, Doc Martin the night before a flight to Florida on Southwest Airlines--the story line clearly got to me. About a kid getting TB from an animal, coughing a lung up symptomatically while his parents ignored him.

"He's just looking for attention."

So when a child about 9-years-old sat in the row behind me of the jammed full, you cannot change seats flight--I thought WTF?

For over two hours TB Ted coughed up a lung while his Dad ignored the kid. Eyes-rheumy and mouth wide open, the kid coughed. And coughed and coughed. No "cover your mouth" from the loco parent--who seemed to ignore the kid.

I began to sweat. AARP recently counseled, to stay healthy ask to change seats. How does that work on a full flight. "Excuse me, would you change seats with me and sit next to the sick kid who is sharing his germs?"

And yes, with a box of medical masks at home--I hadn't brought one. Whoops.

Landing in Florida, Dad began to talk to others about how the kid had "what his sister had" and they were going to a hotel. Nice. Get more people sick. Cough all over the room, so the next guest should get it too. They should have gone to a walk-in-clinic first. That kid had bronchitis and I know from bronchitis.

As feared, TB Ted gave me his lung problem. But thanks to my wonderful Chicago doctor, Dr. Farah Khan--I had the medications to get well soon and NOT infect all of those on my return flight via American Airlines.

So the question is, whatever happened to good manners. When three-years-old my grandson could and would, cover his mouth. He didn't want to make Grandma sick. But this mal educado, Miss Manners flunk-out parent couldn't be bothered.

He had his plans to go to Disney, screw the rest of us was his evident attitude.

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    Candace Drimmer

    I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew my father had accepted a job in Houston TX. I was ecstatic, it was a foreign land in 1961 America. After high school graduation, my parents’ gave me a matched set of fawn-colored hardsided American Tourister luggage. Taking the hint, I went to college; well four colleges in five years--it was the 60s after all. Meeting a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, I fell in love. After finishing up college coursework for my degree, but before I even walking a graduation stage, I grabbed the paper airline ticket my boyfriend had sent me, my brand-new passport, and was off to the airport and Lima, Peru.

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