October 2014

Look UP!

 

I just returned from a trip to New York City. One of the things I enjoy doing when I visit is to walk.  It is often times the fastest way to get where you want to go unless you use the subway.  One of the things I noticed this trip was very disturbing.  Most people walking around the city are looking down at their cell phones or speaking on the phone and not paying attention.  I was rammed into so many times; I just wanted to stop the world and scream, “Look up!”

It is no wonder with the explosion of social media and smart phones that more people are getting injured while walking, talking and texting. A study done at Ohio State University found that the number of emergency room visits for pedestrian injuries related to cell phones tripled between 2004 and 2010.  They noted that those between the ages of 16 and 25 were at highest risk.

There did not seem to be that much of an age distinction this past week.  I saw men and women young and old looking down at their phones.  In a city where there are major pot- holes, uneven sidewalks and open cellar doors leading into bakeries and restaurants there are some serious injuries waiting to happen.

There are wonderful things to look at strolling around New York. It is a shame that many are missing out.  In addition to the enjoyment factor, it makes sense to pay attention to avoid not only danger from injury but also danger from crime.  Staying alert and aware is important for overall safety.

Last year police were stunned when security footage revealed that a man on the San Francisco light-rail had his gun in plain sight and was waving it around before he finally fired into the back of a college student. No one noticed because they were staring down at their phones.

How many other things are we missing while we are allowing ourselves to get sucked into the cyber-world?  I challenge all Americans young and old to get back into the real world to enjoy it and be safe.  It is time for all of us to look up!

 

 

 

 

Ebola: No Need to Panic

 

There is no doubt that Ebola is a scary disease. The question is should you be scared? The answer in my opinion is, no. There are many health issues to worry about in this country.  Ebola is not at the top of the list.

 

First let’s get educated. What is Ebola?

 

Ebola is an infectious disease caused by a virus that is primarily seen in Africa. The symptoms include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and unexplained bleeding.  Symptoms occur between 2 and 21 days after exposure.  The fatality rate is 50%.  If someone recovers they are immune for 10 years.

 

The disease is spread by direct contact with blood and body fluids that include urine, sweat, saliva, blood, vomit, breast milk and semen with someone who is infected with Ebola. Contaminated needles and medical equipment can also spread it.   Ebola is not spread by air or water.  Those most at risk for catching the disease are family and healthcare workers who live and/or care for Ebola patients.

 

If you are someone who flies or is flying to Africa  then take precautions as dictated by the Centers for Disease Control for those entering the countries at high risk for the virus.  If not….

 

It is time to get some perspective.  The media loves drama. Although the disease is spreading in Africa, there is one case thus far in the US and the patient is in Texas.  The risk of Ebola coming to a town near you is relatively small.  It makes far more sense, if you are concerned about your health to focus on what will really makes a difference.

 

Protect yourself from the flu that kills an average of 30,000 people in the US every year.  You can do that by washing your hands frequently, keeping them away from your face, exercising regularly, reducing your stress, getting plenty of rest, and eating healthy foods that boost immunity.  That would include plenty of garlic and onions and maitake and shitake mushrooms.  Most importantly don’t forget to get your flu shot this year.

 

Granted Ebola is a devastating disease, but it is a distraction from what is really important for those of us in the United States.  Let common sense prevail. It is time to focus on how each of us can become the healthiest people we can be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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