I worked in a fifth grade classroom today and I think I now know what it was like to work in a TB sanatorium. About a third of the kids had wet, hacking coughs; emphasis on the wet. It was gross. I washed my hands about fifty times after watching one kid cough into his bare hand then come up to the front to hand in his paper and on the way he touched three desks, another kid's pencil, the teacher's podium and the Smartboard before I had to stop watching to keep myself from going crazy. Now I see why all the teacher have a gallon of hand sanitizer in their rooms. (I'm not exaggerating, hand sanitizer really comes in gallons.)
A couple of girls were chatting with me and one of them put her arm around the other one and said, "She saved my life." I asked how, and she said, "The other day I was choking on a chunk of rubber, and she pounded me on the back until it flew out." I asked why she was eating a chunk of rubber and she said she wasn't, it just sort of flew into her mouth. (The playground is covered with shredded rubber.) Then the life-saver girl told me that the chokes-on-chunks-of-rubber girl wants to be a stylist when she grows up and marry Brian, one of the boys in class. The choker turned red after that and I think she wished she had a chunk of rubber to shove in the life-saver's mouth.