The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Things You Don't Want to Hear

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

October 14, 2009

People "say the darndest things," to coin part of the phrase Art Linkletter used on his popular TV series KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THING.

My friend said she was enjoying a conversation with her massage therapist as the therapist was working on her tight muscles and rubbing out the knots. One thing lead to another and they began sharing health woes. The therapist said, she had gotten skin MRSA after being hospitalized with the flu. She had treated it, but it had come back. "It seems to be getting worse," she said as she continued with the massage. It was NOT what my friend needed to hear to relieve her stress.

Another friend said she had stopped by a busy store and one of the employees was sneezing while apologizing, saying that she thought she was coming down with something, grabbing a hand-full of tissues.

Usually, it is someone in your own family that says they have a headache and are feeling dizzy, and that is hard to avoid. Yet they, too, refuse to stay home, get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquid - well, you know the routine. It is hard to convince family members that life will go on without them, and it just may do so, if they do not learn to take care of themselves.

It is the flu season! Without looking up how to best avoid the flu, I can probably guess that it says something like, get plenty of rest (even at harvest time or especially at harvest time), cover your mouth if you cough, wash your hands with soap frequently throughout the day, before you eat, after you've been somewhere, or upon leaving the restroom.

I just read that one in four Americans admit that they wipe their nose on their sleeves rather than use a tissue, and that others skip the sleeve altogether and go for their hand.

Shaking hands use to be a polite thing to do, but that makes me wonder if you should.

Health officials say a recent "Risk Analysis" study shows a 31 percent chance in public places of infection through hard contact with contaminated surfaces, yet few Americans frequently clean the public surfaces they use.

"Knowing that flu viruses can live on inanimate surfaces for hours or even days should motivate people to take personal responsibility to protect themselves," said Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality and Health Council. "This means disinfecting surfaces, when feasible, using disinfecting wipes or chlorine bleach - especially at home and at work - as well as washing your hands and practicing good personal hygiene habits."

It is a good idea to question people in public places and ask them to explain their cleaning and disinfecting protocol. To help prevent the spread of H1N1, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends keeping surfaces clean by wiping them down with a disinfectant according to the directions on the product label. Hopefully, businesses you frequent does this.

In addition to cleaning surfaces, the CDC advises:

The last thing you want to hear is "You've got H1N1!" when all it may take is a little soap and water and the kind consideration of others to take a 24 hour R.&R. at home when they are feeling ill.