Insightful commentary into the ignorance of some people who don't live with food allergies: Can you spare some peanuts for people who suffer from a life-threatening disease?
The announcement from Southwest Airlines in early July 2018 that they would stop serving peanuts was welcome news for those who live with peanut allergy, a potentially life-threatening disease. The headlines caused a stir, however, among some travelers who are accustomed to receiving free peanuts.
This type of response from one Twitter user was not uncommon: "Stupid ... If I want peanuts why do morons who can't eat them take my right away?" Parents and adults managing #foodallergies
often are greeted with eye rolls when they ask for accommodations to stay safe. They do their best to educate, one person at a time, about the severity of food allergy and #anaphylaxis
. But sometimes the negative chatter is tough to avoid.
In late July, singer @DuaLipa
shared a disappointing experience on United Airlines with her 2.4 million followers on Twitter. A flight attendant reportedly informed her that her sister, who is allergic to nuts, "might have to use" her #epinephrine
auto-injector since they were not a nut-free airline. The singer received a mixed reaction. Some tweeted their support and shared similar experiences, while others were less sympathetic. One user replied, "If I had a life-threatening condition I wouldn't rely on anyone else, I would be prepared." Unfortunately, this sentiment is not uncommon. Although awareness of food allergy as a serious public health issue has risen over the last decade, there remains a lack of understanding and empathy for families and adults managing food allergies that is not seen with other diseases.