Fungus Recoil

There was a localized, though world wide, outbreak of fungus. A potentially lethal, fatal form of fungus. Overhearing a conversation I thought I caught the phrase, 'The Seventh Fungus Bank,' and wondered if it had anything to do with Seventh Day Adventists.

We have been advised to congregate in the foyer of a nearyby corporate building. The back door of an ambulance serves as the front entrance to the building. Everyone has to stoop to get inside, crawling among the shelves with supplies and cushioned stretchers lying in wait should the ambulance have to be uprooted from its' spot for use.

The foyer is a little less cramped. At least there's no lack for a place to sit. Most of the room seems to be covered in purple cushiony sofas and chairs. Even the tables have purple cushions on them. At the next renovation I might suggest a raising of the ceiling, but otherwise I find it far more hospitable than the back of the ambulance. A dark complected man speaking with a thick indian accent gives us our instructions. He runs a hand over the top of his head to straighten out the few hairs covering his scalp. They are matted in perspiration. He speaks slowly but with a sense of concern in his voice. If we think locally the fungus will spread locally, and no more. This is not a time for international thought. We are becoming far too isolationist, I think, but for the sake of disease it may be necessary to think in narrow terms.

I ask the man why we can't communicate with other areas to track the numbers of people infected with the fungus. Based on the stern looks I receive from around the room I suspect that I am just a junior member on this team and should not be asking questions. The man sitting next to me, also dark complected and seemingly from India, tells me not to ask questions. I suspect that he is my superior. He leans over again and tells me I'm very lucky. Usually they wouldn't let a woman hold my position. However, should I ask too many questions they will replace me with someone else. I'm not sure whether I should like him for giving me the position in the first place or whether I should think of him as a sexist pig. I think of him as a sexist pig who was kind enough to give me a poisition for reasons unknown to me.

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lynn@pharmdec.wustl.edu