OK, just got back from a week away. On my final flight home (a little prop job) I encountered a family that was a bit disturbing.
It started at the gate waiting for my connecting flight. A family of 7 entered the gate area (grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, 4 year old, 18 month old, infant) traveling together. I must say, the uber-stroller they had to hold the two young ones was pretty impressive. They plop down on the seats across from me (about 3 feet away). Mom just pulls the infant out, lays him down, and begins to change the diaper right there on the seats at the gate. Pretty disgusting to watch and smell, so I take a walk.
They pre-board the flight.
Well, I ended up in the row right behind father and 18 month old. The others are in the rows ahead. It is now obvious the entire family is sick. They are all coughing, sneezing, sniffing, and spewing. But the guy ahead of me is the worst. He sniffs and snorts every 5 seconds (ever hear of blowing your nose?). He continuously wipes his nose on his hands and arms and then wipes his arms on his pants, the back of the seat in from of him, etc. He keeps putting his arm around his kid’s seat and placing his hand on the wall in my row. This is the same hand that he has been wiping his nose with constantly. Sniff, snort, sneeze, wipe, repeat.
Then his child tosses a pacifier he’s had in his mouth between the seats and onto the floor in front of me (yes infant is sick too). Snot filled dad simply turns around, leans over, and starts feeling around my feet with his arms which are covered in nose slime, all while sticking his face directly in front of mine and shouting “Heeeeeey, can you reach that.” Before he can finish, I’ve kicked the pacifier to him under the seat so that this disgusting torture ends as quickly as possible.
I am praying I don’t come down with anything. I showered as soon as I got home. I really feel sorry for the folks who sat in that row on the next flight. They were literally going to be stewing in germ filled slime.
It is obvious to me that this family is at the stage where, given the age of the kids, everyone is sick all the time. That is just how it goes with young kids. But that is no excuse for living in a bubble and practicing no hygiene whatsoever in public places.