Even the thought of bed bugs makes my skin crawl. They are a mysterious cause for concern.
But as I read more about them I feel even more sad about the stigma that I have witnessed. The stigma that is based on irrational fear about how they are spread and the assumed failure of anyone who has been exposed. It is breaking my heart.
A colleague who is a brilliant doctor and medical director for infection prevention and health system epidemiology sent me an email that taught me a lot. Below are the materials he recommended that I read.
- A detailed plan of how to deal with bed bugs with a lot of great tips (including protection of staff)
- Very nice intro into the bed bug problem with great tips
I am working as the night monitor at the overflow homeless shelter and we follow these guidelines.
While I was a bus driver the hysteria of concern about possible bed bug infestation would come up with drivers. I am realizing that our ignorance about the issue is a potential barrier to compassion. Public servants from volunteers in shelters to bus drivers need more education about bed bugs so they don't perpetuate the stigma.
Greater understanding of bed bugs enables us to be compassionate, not frightened.
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