Sunday, January 7, 2018

Out and About - Whee! In Flu Season - Nooooo

The flu is a wily devil and we need all of the defenses we can muster against it.  Not just covering our mouths when coughing or sneezing.  Shall we take it to the streets with Mr. Flu?

"Raffish," MD, told me that when OR staff scrub (that's wash their hands to us) they keep soaping until they have sung (hopefully to themselves) "Happy Birthday to you" twice.  Happily the wash basins are located far from the wheeled-in patients.  It would be disconcerting in the least for a patient who is likely nervous any how to see all of the medical staff blowing soap bubbles and singing "Happy Birthday" before upping tools and cutting down.   If not yet fully anesthetized, many patients would at least attempt to flee.

I wish you the very best of luck trying to fly into the East Coast today.  If you do get a flight, bring sanitized wipes for rubbing down:  your seat buckle, the arm rests, the in-flight movie buttons and most of all, your tray table.  Since you can't easily sanitize the seat back magazines, bring your own reading material.  If you use the bathroom, afterward, wash your hands and arms up to the elbow.  Don't worry about your derriere - flu is one of the few diseases not transferred by a toilet seat, unlike crabs, herpes, syphilis, etc. (toilet seats are often blamed for an unfaithful spouse's sudden disease.)

Dining out?  Of course the silverware, table wear and dishes have been sterilized!  What has not been cleaned in any way is the MENU.  Think of all the little fingers that have flickered through it.  Right after wiping their nose.  And there was a tissue failure. Thus this action plan.  Before you bring your fingers anywhere near your face after picking up the menu, decide what you want,  hand the menu back and then hand sterilize your hands thoroughly.  

Your turn to bring the treats to the Social?  Please bring utensils with which to pick up that deviled egg half, fork up a cupcake, spoon out the cashews, tongs for the plate of fudge...

Sneezes are another matter; sneaky and able to cover a room, sneezes are no one's friend.  I find that wearing a turtle neck sweater is great for the first little hint of a sneeze coming on.  Pull it up over your face!  People will stop whatever they're doing and thank you.  And we all enjoy cheap appreciation especially when it's as easy as that to obtain.  

Supermarkets very kindly offer sterile wipes from a dispenser as you enter or leave their premises.  Use it to wipe off the cart handles on entering and use another one for your hands when abandoning it at your car.  When you get home, put everything away and then go sing "Happy Birthday" in the bathroom.

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