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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Question Prompts a Question

A headline in this morning's New York Times:
What's Worse Than Getting Sick? Getting Sick While Traveling (link)
To which I respond with a question:
What's worse than getting sick while traveling? Getting sick because you travel.
In my lifetime, I've had the opportunity to spend several thousand nights in hotel rooms around the country. Good and bad. Expensive and cheap. Clean and dirty. Germ-free and ... not.

I've had the occasion to settle down for a good night's sleep in a hotel somewhere, only to find, when I awoke the next morning, that I've come down with a serious cold. Or flu. Or in one instance, a life-threatening disease. I have often thought - and can't dispel the idea - that I've contracted these maladies only because the person(s) who slept in the bed(s) the night(s) before I did had a cold, the flu, or a life-threatening disease.

I try not to think of these things. Such thoughts don't make for a good night's sleep. And I try really hard not to ponder what went on the night before in the bed I'm laying in, if you know what I mean. Try as I might though, I can't escape the reality that hotel rooms - at least to my knowledge - are not disinfected each morning. (In some cases they are not even cleaned well. There's a hotel in Elgin, Illinois I checked out of within an hour of arrival because of a pubic hair being found above the sheets on the bed. Yick.)

So. Consider this a cautionary note. Next time you pay that $199.95 for that luxury hotel room in Cancun, think about the bugs and germs and hairs and pestilences and unmentionables that await in that bed you're about to climb into.

Oh, and have a good night's sleep. "Don't let the bedbugs bite."