Personal Hygiene is Public Hygiene

Isn’t it remarkable how the recommendations for what to do if you get sick are basically the same regardless of the cause? Wash your hands. Don’t pick your nose. Cover your mouth (not with your hand) when you cough or sneeze. Clean surfaces. No double dipping. Wash your hands. Stay home. Rest.

The difference with something like SARS-CoV-2 is that, because of its virulence, the population as a whole cannot depend on individuals to wash their hands–or to stay home.

We here in America have a habit of not staying home when we’re sick, for a couple of reasons. One is the obvious: if I don’t go to work, I don’t get paid; if I don’t get paid, I don’t eat. Some people do have paid sick days, though not everybody does, nor does everybody have enough paid sick (or personal or vacation) days to cover being sick more than once. They have no option.

But we’ve also been taught not to take our sick days on Mondays or Fridays because the boss will think that we’re not actually sick. Obviously, we’re goofing off or we drank too much over the weekend. So we go to work. We were taught this in school: attendance is mandatory. Come to school every day unless you have an excuse. Our industrial training has been effective. Long story short, we do not rest: we go out and contaminate the world when we’re sick.

Perhaps after this epidemic runs its course, particularly if it kills enough people, that might change.

Whose Benefit?

The medical benefit plan I have requires payment of a certain sum before it begins paying a high percentage of the cost of prescriptions. This sum is called the deductible; it’s a sum uncovered by the insurance, deducted from the total expenses before consideration of payment. The policy term is one year, so the value resets every year.

The other day I had to purchase a prescribed drug. The pharmacy had a simple question for me: Did I want them to bill through the insurance company, or did I want to pay cash? If they billed through the insurance company, then the cost of the prescription would be applied to the deductible amount. If I paid cash, then the insurance company, not knowing of the cost, would not apply it to the deductible. One supposes that there’s a third option: to pay cash and then report the expense to the insurer.

This question came up because of a difference in the prices between the two methods: $300 more to bill the expense through the insurance company.

No, thank you. I’ll pay cash.

Moderation, in This as in All Things

http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm
http://www.standarddrinks.com/tool.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_alcohol_content
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_by_volume

http://www.marininstitute.org/
http://www.marininstitute.org/site/campaigns/stop-alcopops.html

http://www.alcoholscreening.org/Home.aspx
http://www.alcoholscreening.org/Learn-More.aspx

http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/
http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/Publications/AlcoholResearch/
http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Practitioner/pocketguide/pocket_guide.htm
http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Practitioner/pocketguide/pocket_guide2.htm (standard drinks)
http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Practitioner/pocketguide/pocket_guide3.htm (drinking patterns) how was 2 drinks/day not more than 14/week determined to be OK?
http://www.spectrum.niaaa.nih.gov/

http://www.alcoholpolicymd.com/press_room/Press_releases/girlie_drinks_release.htm
http://www.alcoholpolicymd.com/alcohol_and_health/health_effects.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperance_movement still in existence as MADD etc.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperance_%28virtue%29
http://www.wctu.org/