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This has been a test…

By Michael R. Shannon
web posted November 2, 2009

I often have my doubts regarding the school system's effectiveness when it comes to the dissemination of knowledge, but I can assure you the classroom is unsurpassed when it comes to the spread of disease.

All the system lacks is all–day kindergarten and pre–school to complete the transformation to scholastic Petri dish.

Last year — when swine flu was just a gleam in Obama's eye — my son infected me once a month with some sort of malady brought home from school along with books and fundraising solicitations. I would no sooner begin a slow recovery when he would start the cycle anew with the next month's germs.

This time the family was fighting his H1N1 flu and I was determined father–son bonding wasn't going to include disease–sharing.

I followed the boy around the house, like a crime scene technician, wiping down everything he touched. Many areas I have to guess about, but I was fairly certain there was no chance he left prints on the dishwasher or vacuum cleaner.

Since I couldn't be sure, I also put Germ–X sanitizer on my hands every five minutes. During our H1N1 struggle I had industrial–sized sanitizer dispensers positioned around the house so that I was never more than ten feet from its germ–killing power.

The key to avoiding flu is literally in the palm of your hand. Most germs invade through your mouth, eyes or nasal passages by using a finger as a landing craft. So in addition to keeping a thin sheen of disinfectant on my hands at all times, periodically I would rub some on my face like aftershave.

Painful experience persuaded me that hand sanitizer and eyes don't mix, but there is nothing wrong with loading your fingertips and applying a generous portion to the inside of your nose.

The bracing aroma of ethyl alcohol is just the thing to give you that tingling fresh feeling.

One activity I strictly monitored was sneezing. Janet Napolitano and Elmo both favor the Bela Lugosi–style crook of the arm sneeze. This is slapdash and subject to variables including clothing absorbency, sneeze velocity and rotator cuff damage.

Here sneezers, coughers and other disease broadcasters are required to smother their expectoration under a T–shirt. Simply lift the collar of your undershirt with one hand, pull it up over your nose — like you were preparing to rob a liquor store — then lower your mouth and sneeze away.

My fight against H1N1 succeeded, but for the rest of the U.S. the "epidemic" is a test case and preview of what will happen under socialized medicine.

In August administration officials promised 80 to 120 million H1N1 Swine flu doses would be ready by mid–October. Calling the plan an "aggressive response" designed to produce enough vaccine for every American who was feeling uneasy eating a strip of bacon.

Here it is mid–October and only 16.5 million doses have arrived. This is 14 percent of what was promised and is not even close enough for government work!

The new prediction is 150 million doses in December — just in time to protect "Winter Festival" Santas in shopping malls — and only two months after the "epidemic's" peak.

Concerned that nine months of hype wasn't producing the required level of frenzy, Obama went on the radio last Saturday and declared a national health emergency.

In Fairfax County, VA clinic lines started forming at 5:45 AM. In Maryland waits were up to 4.5 hours.

Who qualified for immunization was a moving target. On Saturday in Fairfax only pregnant women and children under three were eligible. Then the Flu Potentate ruled that 5–year–olds qualified and parents of children younger than 6 months.

In DC the rule was pregnant women and young people up to age 24. Parents older than 24 with infants were turned away. Then the collective mind changed and "caregivers" for children under 6 months and adults 25 – 64 with underlying conditions were added.

In my county, officials were trying to adhere to more generous CDC guidelines, but with many clinics canceled it became a moot point.

Finally in Maryland immunizations were limited to last names beginning with N thru Z who voted for Obama in both the primary AND general election.

So here you have it, a dry run for the Obama Administration's performance on nationalized health care. All vast governmental forces were focused on a single disease rather than the entire gamut of America's health care problems. There was no greedy, profit–riddled private sector in this fight, only the saintly public option. The program had universal coverage and no pre–existing condition exclusions.

The result? Missed deadlines, rationing, incompetence, blame–shifting, arbitrary decisions, random displays of authority and don't forget: long lines.

There's a word for this preview of socialized medicine under Obamacare.

Call it Flutrina.

Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at michael-shannon@comcast.net.

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