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Editorial: Old Habits Are Good Habits

At the June 16 OB-EN board of education meeting Dr. Phyllis Harrington informed the audience that a case of Swine Flu was reported at the Vernon School and that the district took appropriate measures including notifying parents of what to do to prevent the spread of the disease. Information is available on their website:

Some parents kept their child out but, for the most part most students continued to go to school, said Tom Gould, OB-EN media specialist. He added, something he hadn’t noticed before “I witnessed that Vernon kids cover their mouths whenever they cough or sneeze.”

That is a good thing and is one of the suggestions for avoiding spreading the flu.

That was a habit children of my generation were taught after our parents had survived the virulent 1918 influenza epidemic. The habit seemed to have been forgotten by recent generations and I often found myself telling people to “cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.” It was embarrassing to find the words popping out of my mouth, but hey – it was a law when I was growing up.

I’m glad now civilization is remembering some of the lessons of good health. They include washing your hands thoroughly. Today, however, the instructions add the use of hand sanitizers – so things do get better.

The guidelines mention staying at least 3 feet away from people who are sick.

The guidelines also suggest staying at home if you are sick. Maybe there has to be a certificate for kids who do stay home when they are sick, as opposed to a certificate for 100 percent attendance. If the child is truly not sick 100 percent of the time that is benefit enough.