The Power of "F"

No point in calling or getting up early to drive to the clinic on the east side or the Costco on the other side of town.

You're just not gonna get that flu shot this year. Sure, you need it. Yes, you qualify in that urgent category.

Sorry, when you're a country like the U.S., national health care is just not a priority. Can't predict if Canada will bail us out of our mess either. Hey, how easy have we made it for their low-cost pharmaceutical drugs to flow across the border?

Leaving devilish public policy out of it, the head of the CDC off the chopping block for the moment, etc., I suggest that you don't have a caniption over it -- there are there many things you can do. Let's keep our wits about us for heaven's sake!

1. Starting now, don't leave your house until March 21, 2005.

2. About #1, so you have a job? Consider sick leave or anticipatory sick leave. This will put a crimp on the nation's economic growth multiplied by a few million but we can take it.

3. If you must leave your house, wear a mask, gloves, and avoid human contact of any exposed period of time.

4. Avoid any intimacy (you know, the kissey stuff) with anyone who's been outside your 'pod' environment.

5. If you have children who attend school outside the 'pod' then consider a boarding school' for them for the next 6 months. Writing letters builds character.

6. Or. . .Conversely. . . Live dangerously-- just do it, go out there, screw the immunization (or lack of).

7. Realize this: you will get sick, maybe very sick. Don't panic. That's why there are hospitals; enter one when you need it, don't be heroic.

8. Of course, long before hospitals, if you don't have a physician, pick one, any one! Even a Scrubs kind of doctor is better than nobody (maybe even FAR better) in a pinch.

9. Remember the Power of "F." Fluids + Flushing = a (better) Functioning YOU!

10. Don't forget the Obvious -- Wash those Hands America! If you're not washing your hands at least 10-15 times daily (after every sneeze, bathroom visit, ear & eye scratch, pet pat, baby diapering, escalator handrail, public doorknob, office bathroom door push plate, etc.), then you're letting us ALL down! [A good 'wash' is both hands placed under warm running water for at least 20 seconds with rubbing liquidy suds. Paper towels for drying is better than cloth during flu season.]

Hey, whether you like any of the ten points above or not, don't forget to vote!

Be sure to get an absentee ballot, though, and if it happens that the old public policy devil crosses your mind when you're voting, let your conscience (not your kleenex) be your guide.