Listening to mom is the best advice

Published 5:27 pm Saturday, October 10, 2009

For months, the news of swine flu, regular flu, H1N1 flu, bird flu, emu flu, or whatever else kind of flu has dominated television broadcasts and newspaper front pages; even this one.

The spread of the swine flu outbreak followed the virus across the country, hemisphere and world just as the virus spread. There were stories in Mexico, Texas, the Southeast and then every community the virus was diagnosed. The media helped document every case and sadly, every fatality.

But, as the news of the outbreak spread, and even now as we enter the very active “regular” flu season, I have come across the fact that some of the best preventions to the virus’ spread are the common sense lessons taught to us by our mothers.

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See if you can hear your mother telling you the following:

Cover your mouth when you cough.

Use a tissue when you sneeze.

Wash your hands with soap and water.

Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose with your hands.

Don’t get close to those who are sick.

As I read each press release from state health departments, I honestly heard my mother in each case. I heard her telling me to say “thank you,” “yes sir” and “yes ma’am.”

Over the past few weeks, experts have told us for those who feel sick should stay home. Those who develop certain symptoms should see a doctor and that everyone should make a commitment to get both the regular flu shot this season and the H1N1 flu shot.

All of these tips, both motherly and medically, go back to common sense and common courtesy.

If these simple steps, these simply courtesies between you and your neighbor, could solve the outbreak of a nasty little bug like the swine flu, just imagine what other social ills we could solve if we listened to our mothers a little more.