magine you, and your family, live in a large apartment complex in a suburb of, say, New York, or Washington, or even London. The way things are, these days, you will be living in amongst maybe four or five thousand other people, all going about your individual and family lives. You maybe know possibly a half-dozen other families in the whole complex to greet or speak with, nod to maybe a few dozen more as you pass in the elevators or entrances; but, as a rule, that is about it for social contact wherein you live. If a member of your immediate neighbour’s family comes down with an violent case of stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhoea, etc., you might be involved if they ask you to contact a doctor, or even to call an ambulance; but beyond that, you are not involved. Your home is completely separate from theirs; your services, water, sewage, gas, electricity, come independently to your home, and there are strictly observed barriers against cross-connections especially in the areas of water and sewage.
But just imagine if you package that same huge block of flats into a compact metal shell, ensure it actually floats, add on some massive engines for propulsion, a crew to help maintain and steer this huge floating town, bring along various entertainment and gambling enterprises, as well as a huge inventory of food and booze ; and you get a completely different ball-game. You & your family are in possible ultra-close contact with everything touched, eaten, evacuated and breathed by some six thousand others; and all it takes is one who doesn’t observe fastidious cleanliness in their personal habits, and; bingo; you have five hundred-odd cases of Norovirus, a cancelled cruise, and a massive problem to sterilise miles of piping, hundreds of steel pressure vessels and valves to cleanse it of bacteria which can multiply in thin air.
Welcome to the exciting world of mass cruising!