Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First Contact With NZ Microbes

I'm the proud host of the first NZ common cold. I had a couple days where I wasn't getting good sleep, was really stressed out, and was going to the gym every day. An unfortunate confluence of factors and now I'm midway through my family's first official head cold in the New World.

If you're curious about the picture of the little blue fella up there, that's a plush microbe representing the Common Cold. You can buy these (at least the ones in stock) at www.thinkgeek.com.

They have a whole bunch of great diseases available for purchase, though you'll have to wait 1-3 weeks if you want to get Herpes.

I popped in at the chemist on the way to work and picked up a box of Sudafed to help me keep both hands on the keyboard during work today. I also got some Kleenex brand, uh, kleenex to keep with me. The Kleenex was made in Australia.

It's REAL Sudafed too, not the new-fangled anti-meth-lab pseudo-Sudafed they sell now in the states. It's got a big sticker that says "CONTROLLED DRUG C5 KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN" that was applied to the box after manufacture. It's a New Zealand designation and part of their system for dealing with certain over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. It's an over-the-counter drug, and rather than take the drug off the market completely, they require you to provide ID and they register the purchase of the drug with a central authority which monitors such things. If I suddenly made a run on all of the Sudafed in the Wellington area, they'd no doubt have some questions for me.

When Joanne bought some iron supplements at a pharmacy, there was a similar sticker on it with a different designation. I don't think the pharmacies here are like the Farmacias in Mexico where you can just walk in and ask for prescription medications and get them directly from a pharmacist without a prescription or even a note from your doctor, but they seem to have a middle zone between buying things freely off the shelves and and needing a doctor's prescription. It's not a big thing, and it's not even that interesting, I guess. Sue me, I've got a head cold.

I imagine there's a line of microbes queued up behind velvet cords ready to try us out as hosts, here. I'm frankly surprised that it's taken this long for one of them to get a foothold. I was starting to think that in addition to NZ having no native pests (save the mosquito and a biting sand flea) they had no native germs.

In fact New Zealand has no native mammals at all, if you can believe that. And no snakes. Well, there bats and sea mammals, but no native LAND mammals. I can see why conservation is such an ingrained thing here... the ecosystem could get crushed by stoats!


Cathy said...

Awww, honey. Sorry you are sick. Ed offers to ship some homemade chicken soup with matzoh balls. Do they have gingerale there? Chamomile tea? I know how hard it is to work when you are feeling sick. Try to get some rest over the next weekend, if possible. I think that is the ONLY way to kick it. Here's a couple of hugs to you.

Patois said...

Let me tell you, your mom's comment made the post!

Hey, is Vicodin a controlled substance there? Maybe I'll come for a visit.