Sunday, May 3, 2009
Erring on the side of caution seems reasonable. I've certainly followed the axiom now and then through the years.
I've looked before I've leaped; I've double-checked; I've played it safe rather than sorry.
I've also taken chances, risks--reasonable ones. Can you live without taking risks? Should you?
Along the line of acting cautiously in regards to the swine flu, the Center for Disease Control has placed the country at Level 5: continue with daily lives but take precautions. Wash hands. Check out symptoms. Don't panic
Common sense. I've done that for years. Especially the "continue with daily life" part.
There is a considerable amount of media hype and comment from our leaders--both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi said they'd keep their families from traveling--that sends a message of fear. I don’t mean to make light of a potentially serious situation. Yes, it's better to be cautious where the flu is concerned, but there is such a thing as over reacting in fear.
My hairdresser has two plane trips coming up next month: one across the country to California, and one across the Atlantic to France. She had been excited, anticipating the time away. But now the swine flu has put a damper on that. She's worried, and might change her plans.
But think of this, I told her, "Suppose you stay home and catch the flu from someone here. And if you’d gone you wouldn't have."
It isn't really about the flu; it's about thinking we can control what happens to us. If we stay home we'll be safe, we think. But not necessarily, because bottom line, we have so little control. We play life like it's a game of chess, but sometimes it's a crapshoot. Life has plans. We get dragged along.
I finished reading Life Lists for a review next month in the Internet Review of Books. It was a biography of the famous birder, Phoebe Snetsinger, who was diagnosed with melanoma and given a year to live. She determined to pack that year full--no more playing it safe for Phoebe. Her cancer went into remission, then reappeared . . . several times. Twenty-five-years after her "death date," she died. Not from cancer.
So what am I saying?
Wash your hands. Stay away from people if you feel ill (and why weren't you doing this anyway?) Take precautions. Don't panic.
But mostly, continue with your daily life.