The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease
Your will they'll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields,
'What the River Knows, 1990'
It's been a pretty rough weekend, especially Friday and Saturday when I was much too sick to do much of anything. I didn't want to read; I didn't want to watch television. I didn't even want to mess around with the computer. All I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and sleep it off. I had no appetite, something unusual for me because I can always eat when I am sick. I lived on homemade lentil soup with lots of pepper to keep the lungs open, clementines for their vitamin C, and hubby's special ginger tea. On Saturday I actually felt so bad I sat down and cried. On Sunday I began feeling somewhat better and wanted to follow through on my weekend plans, but decided it was best to stay in and give myself another day to heal. Even today, I am not up to par.
Auntie was right when she said that I saw this coming. I did, and unfortunately, if something isn't done, I see even worse coming in the future. With two shelters in the building--one with 300 beds, the other with 150--a detox, a housing program, and our program of 150 clients, that is quite a few people who pass through those doors every day. And most of them have lived on the streets and just don't know how to protect themselves. The following is an example of something that 'could be done' to help prevent an epidemic and what is 'not being done'.
In our program, we average an average of 70 clients per day come through our doors. Most live downstairs in one of the shelters; some live out in the community. All of them have to sign out at the front desk and 95 percent of them use the same pen. Then, not knowing any better, they rub their eyes or put their hands to their mouth and presto, just as easily as that, the flu has been passed on. We have a hand sanitizer gadget on the wall, that all have to walk past, but it is always empty. I often joke about having to purchase my own supplies--pens, paperclips, file folders--but having a useless hand sanitizer on the wall is no joke, not with an epidemic going on. And, should they find a way to refill it, education is in order. Each and every client has to use it after signing out.
Every day we touch what is wrong, and, as a result, we are becoming less and less healthy. That is why we have to learn to practice touching what is not wrong—inside us and around us. When we get in touch with our eyes, our heart, our liver, our breathing, and our non-toothache and really enjoy them, we see that the conditions for peace and happiness are already present.
Thich Nhat Hanh
When I get back to work I really plan on throwing myself into lobbying for more education and much-needed supplies to keep this flu epidemic at bay. All clients, and not just ours, need to be educated on how the flu is passed on and the basics of protecting themselves. If our nurse don't want to do it, then I will. I also plan on contacting management about providing us with the supplies we need to keep this environment safe. I don't want to hear that they don't have money. They have two other 300 bed shelters besides ours and 46 housing programs. For a non-profit they are raking in the money, but where is it going? I doubt that it will break their pockets to ward off what could be a major catastrophe. Don't forget. These clients also go out into the community and frequent the stores. Something definitely has to be done...and quick.
Well, now that I had my little rant, I'm going to fix myself a bite to eat. This is the first time that familiar little rumble in my tummy, a sure sign that I am on the mend. Thanks for letting me share today.
Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements
Listen to music.
A. Cornelius Celsus