Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Meningococcus Epidemy in Kever Benjamin
Up the Tel Hay street near the Central Bus Station there is large school of the National Religious Movement ("Mizrahi") - the Harel School. One of its students, a teenager girl, was declared a few minutes ago "brain dead", and sixty other students are now receiving preventive treatment. There are other cases of "haydak alim" - the undefinite but everpresent "violent micro-organism" - and I dont know if it also Meningococcus or some other common species went wild. Hopefully it is not an epidemy. We had a very hot week in Kever Benjamin, totally atypical for March, and all tourist are bringing in all kind of exotic plagues and the local ones are turning wild and violent by the dozen. We have a bacteria rage epidemic here, common organisms like Escherichia coli attacking and killing their hosts and owners.
Today I received an urgent call from a sandwich factory (I didnt know that sandwiches were an industry) that has some kind of problem and has an order to close down. An emergency inspection of the Ministry of Health discovered that the sewage was not running and there was a bad smell. The man was in a state of violent agitation, his face contracting rytmically with a nervious rictus, totally hysteric. I immediately discovered the problem (I am starting to be good in this stinking business): the moronic owner had disconnected the interceptor pumping station in the basement. I arranged to reconnect the sewage pipes and repair the submerged pumps. The irresponsible sandwich factory owner (with some 40 or 50 people working on machines, a very industrial operation) had thought he was smart and would save repairing the pump. I walked into the vast dark underground halls of the basements under the building, the air was nicely cool (outside is 40 grade celsius in the shadow) except for the sickening smell of putrid sewage. In two or three days it will be cleaned and sterilized, the pipes reconnected and the pumps operational again. I shall never eat a sandwich that was not prepared at home - by me personally or my youngest daughter. I have confidence in no else. My wife and older daughters have a tendency to dump on me old food, frequently covered by the whitish-green slime that after a few weeks grows on organic remains in the frigidaire. Food, according to the ethical tenets that rule their life, cannot be thrown into the garbage while millions are starving in Africa.