What We Take for Granted

It’s a standard part of the prep. Seek medical advice on how best to guard against traveler’s tummy. Oh and typhoid, hepatitis, malaria, and maybe Japanese encephalitis. It takes a trip like this to remind us that, living in the US, we have the privilege of taking a lot of basic health for granted.

I’ve had five shots. He’s had four. We have three to go between us. And then there is the recommended malaria medication, starting two days before we leave and continuing for a week after we return. And last weekend we got a water purifier. It looks like a mini-light saber. I hope it protects us from the dark side, because, I drink a LOT of water.

It’s odd to contemplate tap water as potentially poisonous, with invisible hazards that could wreak havoc on a digestive system that is very much accustomed to highly treated, safe, regulated water.

It’s disquieting to decide whether to take–for over a month–strong meds that can protect me from a debilitating parasite, but (in some forms) ¬†could also give me violent dreams.

It’s naive, I know, to wonder why I can take clean water for granted, and so many others cannot.


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