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Dave Robinson

Going viral in our time has come to refer to a video or photo that gets coverage or viewership all across the Internet in very short order. According to one definition I found on Bing: “Viral” is the adjective form of the noun "virus." Something that's viral is figuratively something that spread from person to person the way a virus spreads a sickness such as a cold or flu. Everyone sent the video to their friends until thousands or millions were watching it. 

For the past few weeks a virus has ravaged the Robinson house with a vengeance! First my 11-year old grandson, then the 18-year old, my wife and finally, yours truly.

Notice I haven’t used the term “flu” as that would be an inaccuracy. Many serious colds or some viruses are generically referred to as the flu as we really don’t feel good and sometimes the symptoms mimic flu symptoms. But that is rarely the case.

In my case, I made a trip to see my own doctor. He made some suggestions regarding the medications I already take and sent me home with some specific instructions. Not once did he use term “flu.” It also happens that my wife works for a pediatric office. The doctor she works for jokingly considers me his oldest patient.

There is no disaster like feeling like you’d have to recuperate in order to have the strength to die. I won’t go into the details here, but you’ve all been there and we all have horror stories about symptoms. So there’s no need to get descriptive.

One doctor I spoke with offered some suggestions: One is to wear rubber gloves to avoid passing germs. Likewise use lots of hand sanitizer. These alcohol-based products kill germs on contact, and they come in various flavors so you can choose your preference. My wife uses bleach-based cleaners to clean the sink, counters and bathroom fixtures. Also studies have shown that if you keep the temperature in your home higher, you are more susceptible to disease than if you keep your home cooler. For example if you keep your living room temperature at 75 degrees fahrenheit you are more likely to catch a bug than if you keep your temperature at 65 degrees. Of course you may have to snuggle on the couch, bundle up or drink some hot chocolate, but the experts say it is healthier to keep your house cooler. Opening the windows to freshen the air is also a good idea as well.

As always, send your comments and questions to Previous columns can be found on my blog at

Dave Robinson is a retired Bandon postmaster and the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us,” available on, Barnes and Noble, and other online booksellers.

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