If everyone would have a medical waste disposal system in their house, and every store ad a biohazardous waste container for used tissues and stuff people have touched during the flu season- and if we’d all walk around in face masks and rubber gloves, I may not have caught this lousy bug. However, there are limits to everything, and good medical waste disposal practices are no exception.
So, I got the flu.
I haven’t gotten sick in at least three years. Funny how you forget how lousy the flu can get when you’re feeling healthy and how fast you can forget what if feels like to be healthy when you’re sick. Regardless of precautions I took, I got the flu… and it’s not pretty.
(After two miserable days in bed, the fever went down and I figured I’m feeling well enough to get back to my life. So I got up and tried to tough it out…for a couple of hours. When my head felt like a burden on my shoulders, my throat scratchy, and the floor looked inviting, I figured I might have been a bit hasty getting out of bed. So I went back there for a while. Also, there was all those naps I took on the steering wheel and my desk. The good news is I am currently not carrying around a big bag with tissues and tea bags anymore.)
We can plan. We can take precautions. We can have a medical waste disposal system and employees that are trained to be OSHA compliant. This does not contradict the following fact:
We are helpless.
We can create a system that covers our bases, but the bottom line is, it does not cover all the bases, everywhere, at any time…so we have faith. We have faith in the system. We have faith in the hapless, fallible humans who we count on to uphold the system and compensate for any of its flaws. Humans who are not immune to error. Or the flu.
The medical waste disposal system makes sense to me. I show up every day, (even when my head is sort of spinning and I feel like I can’t breathe properly through my nasal passages), because I have faith that the medical waste disposal system is protecting other human beings from getting sick. Is the medical waste disposal system invincible? No. Have we eradicated nosocomial infections entirely from hospitals? No. Can holding people at arm’s length the entire flu season prevent everyone from getting sick? I think not, but I am convinced we are making a difference just by doing the best we can.
Now this is the best I can do. (sniff). I am now going back to bed for a couple of hours. (sniff). The medical waste disposal system will have to survive without me. (sniff.) And I have faith that it will.