Monday, August 31, 2009

Paranoia … join the cause!

Okay, so I’m relatively paranoid about germs anyway. However, this swine flu issue has started to push me over the edge. Let’s face it. People are dirty. They spread their germs everywhere. Some of the most disgusting places include grocery stores, schools, hotels, and air planes, all of which are places I have to be on a regular basis. I’m feeling a little fortunate that my doctor has advised me not to fly for the remainder of my pregnancy. That means I can legitimately avoid airports, planes, and rental cars. The other places, not so much! What’s really frustrating me, though, is all of the questionable information surrounding the swine flu. For example, my doctor’s office is recommending the vaccine so strongly that they’re almost requiring their pregnant patients to get it. On the other hand, another OB/GYN office is refusing to give the vaccine because it has apparently caused paralysis in pregnant women. I’ve also heard, but not confirmed, that the virus can live on paper money for up to two weeks. While I primarily live on credit/debit cards these days, it’s still a disconcerting thought. And, just think about how many people touch that little pen you use to electronically sign your name after swiping your credit card! Gross. I wash my hands and use anti-bacterial gels all the time … excessively, my husband would say. However, he also informs me that the anti-bacterial gels are not effective against the swine flu. It’s viral, not bacterial.

After considering all of these things and trying not to literally freak out about how I’m going to start visiting college campuses next week, I called my doctor’s office. I didn’t really care what they told me one way or the other. I was looking for either reassurance that this is just an overreaction, or I wanted them to officially advise me (and my employer) to avoid public places like schools. I just wanted a definitive answer. So what did they tell me? They told me that I should wash my hands frequently, avoid crowded places, and wear a mask if I can’t avoid places that are swarming with germy people. However, they’re not allowed to officially advise against these ‘activities’ because it could induce panic. Imagine if they started telling people not to go to school. In reality, I’m thinking … sure, wearing a surgical mask is going to go over great for a sales rep. Telling people I’d rather not shake their hand will win me tons of points. And, avoiding them all together will really boost sales.

I really have no revelation or inspired conclusion here. This is more of a rant than a thoughtful posting, but feel free to join my cause! It couldn’t hurt to increase paranoia, and hopefully boost awareness. WASH YOUR HANDS!

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