The Alphabet Wash

Mitch Schneider
November 23, 2019

If you checked out yesterday’s (November 22, 2019) blog and video you know I was asked to speak about my cancer experience at a meeting focused on CARE: Cancer Awareness Resources and Empowerment, last night.

The meeting was well-attended, and the presentation was a success based on the questions and engagement that followed.

A cancer diagnosis is both very personal and far-reaching. It impacts not only you but everyone in your universe, something just about all of us have experienced on either one end of the spectrum or the other. Either as a patient or as a member of a patient’s community. It is something most people don’t want to talk about. But, something they are oddly drawn to listen to.

However, it’s what followed the presentation that caused me to recoil as I walked into the hall where coffee and dessert was waiting for us. It wasn’t the assortment that almost brought me to my knees. It was everyone touching the assortment that had me back up with my hands placed in a defensive posture to help protect me from infection. Even knowing that’s impossible.

100% Immunocompromised

To someone like me who is 100% immunocompromised, sniffling, coughing, sneezing people are anathemas! Just as they probably should have been to everyone else in the room!

If I was “Bones” and this was StarTrek, I would have to grab the Captain, shouting: “My God, Jim! It’s Flu Season!”

So, here’s tonight’s message. Wash your hands thoroughly and often practicing the Alphabet Wash. That means washing with warm soapy water for as long as it takes to recite the alphabet. It also means special care to get in between your fingers.

Use hand sanitizer when you can, especially on high traffic area surfaces and learn to elbow or fist bump.

It looks strange and feels odd, but there’s a better than average chance it will keep you out of the Urgent Care this flu and holiday season.

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