Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Legionnaires' Disease and public places

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Legionnaires' Disease and public places
On Sunday when I was looking around the church building, I looked up. I discovered that “You shouldn’t look up in Church”.

No – No – nothing to do with God or Angels.  It was everything to do with the way things looked.

I often look around in the church I am attending on any given Sunday. I look for water stains, and maintenance problems. It is the “old Pastoral mind set” wondering what the Board of the Church is like and how much they care about the physical.

Often there are old water marks on the ceiling that are left from the time that the church has had major problems with its building.

But Sunday was different in that church. When I looked up I saw that the plastered ceiling was super dark and dirty around the air vents.  These air vents blow down the cool air in the summer and the warm air in the winter.  And apparently the air coming from the air vents since 1980 is kind of dirty.

Mind you like any heating and cooling system it has been sucking up the used air from people sitting below each week… and then heating it… and reusing it to warm up or cool the dear Saints below.

That used air being picked up and then sprayed down is not clean.

Now I am not the Howard Hughes kind of guy that worries about the cleanliness of people around me, then makes me isolate myself in a sealed environment to avoid germs.

BUT and it is a BIG BUT… for the last few weeks there has been a huge amount of information about the Legionnaires’ Disease that has killed a number of people in Quebec first and now it has been reported in Ontario as well.  Actually the reports of this disease has also being released from an outbreak in Europe in June 2012.

Once you start reading about this stuff and these bacteria you can see Howard Hughes wasn’t that nutso after all.

These “bugs” are in the air  all the time – everywhere.  They have been for a long time.  The “bugs” that cause the Legionnaires’ Disease apparently were in the air handling system in large hotels… the air conditioning and air heating vents.

When I read over the Symptoms Found for the Legionnaires’ Disease I started to look up more and more.

For a while this church had hand cleansing stations at each door… but that has now gone away.

When I watched a couple of old men using the urinals and then walking out to the church service… without washing their hands… the hand shaking was less appealing when it came around.

BUT I can shake the hands of someone, then go wash right afterwards. Right?

(More fun yet – is to wash your hands just before hand shaking time and then don’t dry your hands completely… and watch the look of people’s faces when they hit your wet hand with their dry one! Too Funny!!!)

The fact that the church does have old people sitting in it that could be susceptible to these kinds of atypical pneumonia raises my concerns about this kind of air handling system!

All the used air that is down below is sucked up to the vents and then redistributed.  All the air breathed out, all the burps, all the farts, all the B.O., all the perfume and anything else that it can pick up it will… then that stuff lays in the pipes and the crevices of the system.  Then it incubates and grows as the conditions are right… and “Legionnaires” breath it in!!! Oh boy!

I am a Howard Hughes type after all. This morning I awoke with a sniffle and had to blow my nose! Was that a cough that I just felt coming on?

Hokey Mokey… I am old enough now to have breathed in buckets of bad and very ugly used air!

My heart goes out to the Legionnaires and the people that have lost loved ones to this disease… to the pneumonia that they were taken down by.  Nothing funny about this at all.

So next time you are in church… look around and take a look at the condition of the air vents. Are they dirty?  How much of the air have your breathed in?  Sorry – oh boy. Then there is the coffee shops, the Mall, and the Restaurants… oh boy – oh boy.

Murray Lincoln


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