Hazardous Materials

At the end of the 1990s I used to play a videogame once in a while called Half Life. That game was a great little getaway from the stress of my last years in high school: You played a scientist that had to fight his way back from a laboratory after an experiment unleashed strange creatures. At the time, the game was revolutionary for both its graphics and its story elements that weren’t narrated via cut scenes but via scripted elements baked into the game. The different levels had different names like book chapters, and one was called Hazardous Materials.

The association machine that continuously runs in my head brought up the memory of that game when I had to deal with my very own Hazmat recently. Although my employer leaves it to the discretion of its staff if they want to work remotely or come to the office, in the last few months I had decided to use one day per week as office day. On that day I not only catch up with colleagues, but also check the snail mail, print stuff etc. Recently, the institute gave out rapid diagnostic test kits for all staff to use at home before heading to the office. That was the first occasion I used such a rapid test, and guess my surprise when I encountered the plastic pouch pictured above. So my very own body fluids plus the test’s chemicals count as hazmat. Wow, feels like really fighting something big now. Just like in Half Life…


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