What kind of country of dummies have we become when the PRESIDENT has to go on TV and tell us to WASH OUR HANDS and COVER OUR MOUTHS when we cough?
Triage has become a nightmare now what with all this "Swine flu" nonsense. I live in one of the cities where there was a cluster of infections, and our hospital has gone into full panic mode. There are masks at every entrance with signs saying "If you have a cough or fever, please wear one." So, since they're free, everyone has two or three on them, even the kids. I'm constantly stopping people and asking if they have cough or fever. No? TAKE THE MASK OFF, FOR GOD'S SAKES!!! You're just here to visit grandma!
Also, for every actually sick person I triage, I get two or three who are just worried about the swine flu. These are people who won't bother to get a regular flu shot--and the regular flu can kill you too, you dummies! Some questions:
Pt (on the phone): I need my family to get tested for swine flu. We just got back from Mexico.
Me: Are any of you feeling sick?
Me: No coughs, no sore throat, no fever?
Pt: No. But I have two kids who have to go back to school.
Me: ARE THEY SICK IN ANY WAY?
Me: I suggest you stay home.
Other pt (in triage): I have flu symptoms. I think it's the swine flu.
Me: Were you in Mexico?
Me: Were you around an infected person?
Me: Then you probably don't have the swine flu.
Pt: How do you know?
Me: Because you weren't exposed to it.
Pt: But I feel sick.
Me: You are sick. You just don't have the swine flu.
Please note that on top of all of this, I'M SICK. I have some upper-respiratory thing, brought on by the insane amount of pollen flying around. It started with a sore throat and uvula that was so swollen, I actually went in to my own ED and got one of the docs to give me a shot of Decadron so I could breathe and swallow. That thing was like a freaking THUMB dangling in the back of my throat. Then it progressed to a hacking, mucus-filled cough that burns my chest. Guess what I'm doing? STAYING HOME.