Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dr. A's person of the year

In case you haven't heard yet, Time Magazine's Person of the Year is YOU. That's right, YOU. I know, you're asking yourself, Huh? In my opinion, Time has reached a new low here. In an effort to offend no one, they took the easy way out and named everybody, er, YOU. That's pretty pathetic if you ask me.

Time has assured itself that this annual distinction is now irrelevant. It's like me naming a person of the year. So, why not! If Time Magazine can make itself look important, then I'll do the same.

My person of the year is not actually a person. In addition, there is not even an agreed upon name of this "person." Now, before you think I'm going to do a spirituality post (not that there's anything wrong with that), here are the many names that have been used for my "person": Bug, Bacteria, Virus, Germ, Infection....

Well, you get the idea. In 2006, the population of the world has gotten to know more about microscopic organisms than ever before. For example, ripped from recent headlines....

E.Coli: Forget about bagged spinach from California. That story is so three months ago. Now, the big thing is the infection raging through Taco Bell restaurants. Oops! I forgot, the CDC has now announced that Taco Bell is now safe to return to. I know that because in watching TV on Sunday, at least twice an hour, the president of Taco Bell had an announcement asking people to come back. I wonder how much that cost. Probably pennies compared to the revenue lost over the past few weeks. Anyone remember Chi-Chi mexican restaurant? They had an outbreak in 2003, not with E.coli, but Hepatits A. Chi-Chi's went out of business soon after that.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa: This is a bacteria usually found in water and soil. It may not sound familiar, but if I say this bacteria closed the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units at a Los Angeles hospital two weeks ago, then it may ring a bell. Five babies were infected and two babies died from this bug.

MRSA: The long name is "methicillin resistant staph aureus." This is a big and bad sounding name, and this bacteria usually is. This is a bug whose victims are usually elderly patients with extended hospitalizations. In this story from the UK, hospitals there are finding a more powerful strain of MRSA, meaning it is more difficult to treat. As bacteria get exposed to more and more powerful antibiotics, the bacteria adapt and become more and more powerful. A dangerous trend.

NoroVirus:
This virus first made it's mark on the scene on cruise ships. Remember hearing about cruise ship illnesses? This was norovirus at work. Now, it had made landfall - namely at Olive Garden restaurant in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. Almost 400 people in that community have been affected. One wonders how much that's going to hurt that business not only locally, but nationally as well.

Finally, I've already had my flu shot rant this year. I'm also upset about the media hype over flu shot surpluses. But, that's a rant for another day. What will 2007 bring? Well, in addition to all of the above, bird flu is still on the radar screen. What new bugs are on the horizon? We'll have to see. Congrats to Dr. A's person of the year! Don't forget to wash your hands....

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not eating at any national chain restaurants in the forseeable future, I'm buying a lot of Purel, and the only viruses I plan on catching are viral videos. The ones that were made by "you." I hope that that cop-out choice of person of the year means that Time is officially done.

Anonymous said...

I am currently ill with some viral thingy. But alas, it gives me more blog-surfing time...see you can't always look at it as negative.

Anonymous said...

Time not only stooped to a new low with this "you're the person of the year" b.s. - they named Steven Harper newsmaker of the year. Ugh... *adds another rant to her list*

I'm so happy to be nominated Person of the Year - thank you Time. Really, what more could a girl want? o.O

Anonymous said...

Maybe Time's trying to move into the "Self Help" market?

Anonymous said...

Do you think that these products that advertise "kills 99.9%" of bacteria are contributing to the problem?

Mother Jones RN said...

Well, if we are all Time's "Peson of the Year," I think we should add that honor to our resumes.
What do you think?

Love your post.

MJ

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - don't rag on bacteria. It's the only culture some people have. :(

But no, if you asked me I'd say it's this "me me me" society we live in. It's all about the "me" and not about the "we" anymore. Instant gratification, self satisfaction, being concerned only about yourself and screw anyone else who doesn't agree - MY opinion is the most important etc. etc.

Time is just perpetuating this. Instead of focusing on how to be a better community (both global and local) they decide to buy into this 'me, me' problem.

Less on 'me' issues and more on 'we' issues.

Marissa Miller said...

I wish they would have taken a stand so we could debate about SOMETHING. Heck - name Donald Rumsfeld person of the year for all I care (as much as I can't STAND him) but not YOU. It's such a cop-out; it's so awful. They did something similarly vague last year - I think it was "the American soldier." Blech. Time's People of the Year is becoming as useless as People's Sexiest Man Alive.

But I'm getting ahead of myself and I haven't even posted on my own blog yet. :)

NeoNurseChic said...

Just so you know - I got my first flu shot ever yesterday. Of course, I was a real dummy and got it in my left arm when that's the shoulder I've been going to PT for. It's a little sore, but I know it'll blow over. I was very stressed out about getting the shot because of my ex-boyfriend's aunt's issue from it, but I guess I'll be less stressed out by it when a month has gone by and nothing bad has happened.

Oh - I need to talk with you privately about something over email.... I'm going to take a nap now, but look for an email from me sometime soon!

Hugz,
Carrie :)

door@zorgsteek.nl said...

MRSA, we had it twice this year :-(

and of course : I'm the person of the year ;-)

Anonymous said...

don't rag on bacteria. It's the only culture some people have. :(

That's a good one, superstenogirl!

And, Doc, I inadvertantly gave a name to your person of the year today on my blog: Boogaloo Bug, the guest nobody wants -- but so many have -- for the holidays.

He's over at my house right now... which is another reason why I'm still blogging here in the office....

Anonymous said...

Normally I would throw in my two cents worth, especially about MRSA (which we see a lot in home health wound care) and the worry about fast food cleanliness (because that's my main source of food on the road, yikes!)...but I don't have the strength today because I caught whatever nasty bug is going around and I had to go to my own doctor and get a shot/free samples today (thank God for my doc!) And so I'm just going to whine in self pity and anger at "bugs" in general, so here goes: waaaah!

dr peg said...

Dr. A - About MRSA. Alas, it's not only an infection of the elderly and infirm. We've been seeing a lot of it in our Walk In clinic, in the form of "infected spider bites" (patients' best guess). Localized cellulitis. If it has formed an abscess, we culture it and get back MRSA. The cellulitis responds beautifully to Bactrim QS (quadruple strength, i.e. 2 DS bid) or doxy.

I like your choice of "entity of the year."

Anonymous said...

Ah man and here I was trying to get o your nice side so I could be named your person of the year. Oh well there is always next year.

PS do you like apple pie?

may said...

does it mean i can't be the person of the year next year? what will i be then? :)

NeoNurseChic said...

We have had a lot of babies with MRSA, too. Can't tell you how many times I've worked in co-bedded rooms. I saw a baby die from MRSA who, at the time I took care of him, was more or less fine with a little O2 and a feeding intolerance issue. The mother had also had MRSA.

It's not good when it gets the wee ones.....

sudiegirl said...

I know all too well about pseudomonas. My dad had it on one occasion a few years before he passed away, and cystic fibrosis patients are also prone to it, correct?

It is UGLY.

Woo-hoo...I'm Time's person of the year too...wasn't Hitler one too? Maybe that's not such a groovy distinction.

Anonymous said...

I think that's the best list for person's of the year yet