September 21, 2009

Healthcare, Health, and H1N1

Well, we've all been hearing about the healthcare debate... Or, rather, we've been sighing and changing the channel on the TV when yet another politician comes on the screen to tell us what to think. I guess we've had enough rhetoric at this point.

But the fact remains that, no matter how sick we are of hearing it, the healthcare debate is among the more important debates this country has heard in a long time. And the fact remains that healthcare is something that we all need... In fact, something we can't live without, especially considering the recent outbreak of H1N1 (also known as the swine flu, in case you haven't heard). While there is no actual cure for the swine flu, it sure would be nice to have some healthcare when that unwelcome visitor swings by this flu season.

And the threat of the flu seems very real. Small indicators of its existence are beginning to show up on Dartmouth's campus. Signs recently put up on doors that warn anyone who gets sick to STAY AT HOME. Signs recently put up in our bathrooms reminding us that washing hands is the best way to prevent disease. Those fist bumps we received at our matriculation ceremony instead of handshakes...

All of these not-quite-subtle things help me reach two conclusions: One, that our college administrators realize the threat of swine flu, and two, that they're trying to find the balance between keeping back mass concern and making sure that we all know what's going on. So far I think they're doing a pretty good job of the second.

And I'll help them out by adding my own little reminders: Be sanitary. Be safe. Wash your hands and don't participate in close-contact activities like handshaking with large amounts of people. The swine flu will be or is here; but all we have to do is follow those few simple rules and we'll probably be fine. And it's a good idea to follow the healthcare debate as well. We should know what's going on with healthcare in a time of an outbreak of disease like this.

So, maybe, next time you see one of President Obama's speeches running on TV, don't change the channel. Next time you get the chance to read over the healthcare summary, don't pass it up. Sure, we shouldn't panic about either swine flu or the healthcare debate, but we should be informed. Read up. Know healthcare... and be healthy.


  1. Anonymous2:21 PM

    As an '11 returning to campus I find it rather alarmist that there are so many 'if you feel sick stay home and wash your hands alot' signs. Maybe Jimmy Kimmy is a hypochondriac.

  2. Anonymous5:33 PM

    The flu (A,B, H1N1)?? is nasty this year, 8 days flat on your back nasty. When you see it, you'll believe it.