Here on the Back Page we’re not expecting to go on holiday any time soon. And when we do, we’re unlikely to be going to Las Vegas, though we understand that plenty of people enjoy it. However, we have a word of caution for them: be careful if you’re thinking of a dip in the hotel pool.
We came across a warning, delivered in Twitter form by a specialist in biological and chemical warfare. Right at the end of the 20th century, the chap – named Dan Kaszeta – took a call from a federal agent looking to have something tested. He passed the enquiry on to a lab that tested the sample along with two controls: local tap water and water taken from a swimming pool at “a major hotel”. After analysis, the suspicious sample turned out to be relatively harmless and the tap water was fine. But the pool water…
The analysis showed that the pool water had “alarming” levels of giardia and cryptosporidium, both of which can cause diarrhoea and are resistant to chlorine. It also had metabolites from human urine, faecal matter (human, mammalian and avian), campylobacter, adenoviruses and trace amounts of cocaine, ketamine and several different opiates.
Samples taken from other hotel pools showed similar results – indeed, Kaszeta said, water taken from the Potomac River was cleaner.
Apparently, swimming pools are the source of almost half the illnesses resulting from faecal-oral transmission, but on the other hand most people who use pools don’t get ill. So the best advice, if you use the hotel pool, is this: don’t think about it, and keep your mouth shut.
It’s not just swimming in pools that can be dangerous but cleaning them too. In Massachusetts at the end of June, emergency responders were called to a neighbourhood in Forsyth after reports of an explosion. It emerged that a young couple, who had only recently moved to the area, were cleaning their swimming pool. They had some pool shock – an oxidiser, often containing chlorine, used to keep the water clean – and found some more that the previous homeowners had left behind.
Deciding to use it up, the young man mixed the two brands and started feeding it into the pool. Once wetted, it started to smoke and bubble, and then the bucket with the rest of the shock exploded. The man was hospitalised for checks. “All the neighbours know us now,” his girlfriend said, “so it should be interesting meeting them after this.”
DRESSED FOR THE PARTY
Last month we reported on people taking public transport in London wearing full hazmat suits during the Covid-19 pandemic. We now hear that such PPE is being used for other purposes.
Or at least it was on one occasion. In Forsyth, Georgia back in June police were called to the Circle K, where a drunk had got into someone else’s car and was refusing to get out. While there he vomited all over himself; police said he was also incoherent – and clearly very, very intoxicated. In order to prevent potential contamination, the police wrapped the drunk in a spare hazmat suit and pulled him out.
Once slightly less drunk, the perpetrator said he had been out partying with his brother and was aware he was incapable – he just thought he’d got into his brother’s car.[post_title] => Not otherwise specified: Beware of the water [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => not-otherwise-specified-beware-of-the-water [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-08-06 12:25:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-08-06 11:25:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://hcblive.com/?p=25385 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )