Everything I Need To Know About Avoiding Swine Flu I Learned In Kindergarten

Yesterday the HR people at the firm circulated a publication from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that gave people tips on h0w to avoid getting H1N1, the latest strain of “swine flu.” The CDC webpage reflecting the advice is found here.

I was struck by how elementary the CDC advice was. Indeed, it was pre-elementary, because most of it was taught to us by our kindergarten teachers. What are the recommended “everyday actions to stay healthy”? First, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and after you use a tissue throw it out. Second, wash your hands often with soap and water. Finally, you should stay home if you are sick (preferably, of course, tucked into a warm and cozy bed, lathered with Vicks Vap-O-Rub, drinking a 7-Up brought to you by your Mom and reading Richie Rich or Archie comics before you doze off in a thick haze of menthol vapor).

Who can’t picture their kindergarten teacher sternly giving these instructions? “Robert, please cover your mouth when you cough!” “Robert, your hands are filthy — go back and wash them thoroughly this instant!” If I survive the H1N1 epidemic, I will have to find Mrs. Radick, my kindergarten teacher at Rankin Elementary School in Akron, Ohio, and thank her personally.

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