In 1986 I was about 7 years old and I had no idea what "radiation" meant. My only memory related to the Chernobyl explosion is a dialogue I had with my mother one day in the tram station:
- Mom, why aren't we allowed to go out these days?
- Because of the radiations, Christina. You must stay inside because of the radiations.
- And how are the radiations?
- Well, I'm not sure, but they're very bad for you. If you're touched by radiations your skin is burnt and your hair falls out.
That was all I ever knew about the radiations. I don't remember feeling frustrated for having to stay indoors, like I felt when I had the measles. But a few years later I read a book about the atomic explosion at Hiroshima and recognized the effects of nuclear radiations. It was only then, after several years from the Chernobyl explosion had passed, that I started to worry about losing my hair or my skin, and I would run my fingernails over my forearms every day to see if my skin was falling off. It never did, so after some time I stopped doing it :-)
This entry was initially published as a comment on Sonykus' blog entry, Level 7.