Written by Claire Haigh, Monday 30th May 2011
Pinkeye, and how to prevent it!

There is a nasty bit of pink eye going round the camp at the moment; more specifically, a nasty bit of pink eye has infested the fighters ring for which, rightly or wrongly I am holding Steve responsible. Afterall, the last time he was here there was a mini pink eye epidemic and now, two years later, here he is again just as we are all infected once more. Nevermind that he was not the first person with it and since getting it has been scrupulous about avoiding contact with his training partners and training equipment…it’s him, I can feel it.

Nevertheless, I felt a bit shocked when I caught Kru Moo scrunching up his face and sticking out his tongue at Steve’s back as he walked past. Afterall, pink eye is pretty hard to prevent and a punishment enough in itself- no need to pull faces at the inflicted. I didn’t think much more of it until, struck down with it myself, I noticed that Thais I have been talking to will not look at me in the eye and have been shuffling away eyes cast down when I approach.

I decided to ask Goi about it and after a couple of attempts to get his attention by catching his eye over a bowl of somtam leant in and tapped him on the shoulder “I want to ask you about my eye…Goi..will you look at me when I am talking to to you…Goi..” He eventually turned his face to me and to my surprise firmly closed his eyes and stuck his tongue out at me. “What the fuck?” After a bit of cajoling Goi, eyes firmly locked on a space just to the left of my head, explained that eye contact was one way that pink eye can be caught and that the badness could be prevented or fightened away by sticking ones tongue out at the inflicted. I looked at him carefully to see if I could detect any signs of this being a practical joke that allows him to pull faces at me around the house at will but he seemed in ernest although somewhat embarrassed about the explanation.

I am somewhat skeptical about this method of pink eye prevention but as I am currently following two courses of medication regardless of what the doctor precribed, one for virul and one for bacterial conjunctivitus, just to be sure, I am not ruling anything out. And if poor Steve is back next year, you may yet catch me surruptitiously pulling faces at him as he goes by.

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