And note to TSA: it does not make it the least bit better for your employees to tell you what they are doing to you as they are doing it, whether it is with the back of their hand running over my butt, or the front running up my pants' seam. It is still a stranger running her hands all over my body in public.
All because I have bad knees, and am trying to rectify that situation by getting them replaced. Wow.
I suppose I should be thankful that the TSA employees who had their way with me changed their gloves. That seems to be a problem with some of the agents. And guess what that can get you? Oh, it's a long list, as several doctors have tried to highlight to Congress:
[snip] Syphilis, lice, gonorrhea, ringworm, chlamydia, staph, strep, noro and papilloma viruses all are part of the possible fringe benefits when airline passengers next go through a full hands-on pat-down by agents of the federal government's Transportation Security Administration, according to doctors. [snip]
Oh, yippee!! And all of this is included in the price of an airline ticket? Wow!
But wait, there is more:
[snip] Now two doctors - and several others - have confirmed that there is the definite possibility that passengers will be able to catch whatever someone in front of them in line was suffering from via the latex gloves TSA workers use.
"There is no doubt that bacteria (staph, strep, v.cholerae etc.) and viruses (noro, enteroviruses, herpes, hepatitis A and papilloma viruses) can be spread by contaminated vinyl or latex gloves," Dr. Thomas Warner of Wisconsin told WND in a letter to the editor.
"If a traveler has diarrhea and is soiled, as can and does happen, the causative agent can be spread by this method since bacteria and viruses in moist environments have greater viability."
He continued. "The traveler readjusting clothes can easily get the infectious agents on their hands and therefore into their mouth, nose or eyes."
"Anything can be transmitted. If there are open wounds and they [TSA agents] are not aware, there's syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, chlamydia, lice, ringworm."
Worse yet would be for people whose immune systems are compromised by treatments they may be having, including cancer patients, she said. (Click HERE to read the rest.)
Isn't flying just great these days?
Obviously, this does not affect everyone, but there are many of us for whom, unless these procedures are changed, will be subjected to this kind of invasive - and believe me, it is invasive - pat down just because we want to are travel and have had surgery. If the agents were willing to accept a visual confirmation; or to use the good ol' standby, the wand; or to have a wipedown of our hands put in for testing of hazardous materials, that would be one thing.
But that isn't how it works. So all because I had a knee replacement, I was forced to stand alongside everyone going through security, with my arms outstretched, treated like a potential terrorist, while undergoing an embarrassing, offensive pat-down.
Do we need security procedures? Absolutely we do. But there has to be some middle ground between standard x-ray machines, walk through scanners, and full body - and I do mean full body - pat downs. A wand would have highlighted to the TSA instantly that, yes, indeed, the area was confined to my KNEE, not my butt, not my crotch, and not around my breasts. But, no - that is apparently too old school for the TSA these days. They prefer physically invasive, open handed pat downs instead of the easier, as well as quicker, solution of using a wand or opening their damn eyes.
So, yes - I, an American citizen, was forced to endure the new government-sanctioned TSA procedures of physically invasive public pat-downs as my partner, a friend, and I traveled in and out of the country, a wonderful trip for which we had planned long in advance, all because of a knee replacement. Presumably, unless this is changed, something toward which I will have to be subjected every time I fly.
There is something seriously wrong with this picture...