Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||Traveling Pin Cushion....
The Traveling Pin Cushion
couldn't believe it when I saw the list --- all those shots just to be
able to travel? Some of these diseases have been eradicated for half a
century. I was looking at the CDC website which recommends various
immunizations needed for
traveling outside the country. The list for Egypt is so extensive that
it cracked my glasses to read it.
First there are the "routine" shots -- routine except that I
haven't had them. Tetanus -- that's the one you get when you step on a
rusty nail, isn't it? Maybe they have a lot of rusty nails there.
Diphtheria shot? Good grief, that's a baby shot. I think I had that
one when I was in diapers.
Flu shots? I usually get a flu shot anyhow, except this year they ran
out before they got to me. I suppose they will add the swine flu shot
to the list when it becomes available. I don't think Egypt has any
pigs, but it must be a threat anyhow.
Measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox -- I hate to admit this as I'm
telling my age, but I should have immunity to those diseases as I've
had them all. When I was a kid, shots of childhood didn't exist. The
smallpox vaccination was the big thing.
Then there's a polio shot? I can't believe it. Yes, I had the shots
when they were still attached to a needle if you must know. I would
only need a booster. Who can believe there are places in the world
that still worry about polio.
The hepatitis B shot is iffy. I don't think I have any of the
behaviors that require it -- other than visiting a foreign country.
Guess my doctor will know if that's enough. I'm beginning to think I
won't have any blood left to become infected when they get done
Then there are the so called "travel shots," the ones your
doctor can't even give you that you have to go to a travel clinic to
get. That would be for interesting things like typhoid and hepatitis
A, diseases from unclean water. If I've been told once, I've been told
a thousand times. Don't drink the water. Also, don't use ice.
And at the bottom of the list is a rabies shot.
Rabies? Just like the dog? It seems that many countries do not require
animals to be vaccinated, and they can easily carry diseases like
rabies. Avoid petting animals like dogs or cats that could bite. I
hope camels don't get rabies. I've heard it's the camels you have to
watch out for.
I am supposed to avoid birds as they can carry avian flu which is
epidemic in other parts of the world. Stay away from chickens in
markets, advises the health information site. I'm really not into
petting chickens visiting poultry markets, so that should be easy.
Here is one bit of good news, Yellow fever is only a danger in other
parts of Africa , and so I get to skip that shot. I can also skip
Japanese encephalitis. Well, I'm happy there are at least a few
diseases that I am not in danger of bringing home. I don't like that
kind of souvenir.
Malaria is not a serious threat, but I still need to use insect
repellent to keep mosquitoes away. My baggie of liquids for the plane
is going to be very full. Can't I get any of this stuff after I get
there? Do they have Walmart in Egypt? (Forget I said that.)
I will be a walking pin cushion with all these shots,
a bloodless zombie wrapped in mosquito net, with insect repellant,
sunscreen, long sleeves, sun glasses and a sun hat, trying not to look
like an American.
If the mosquitoes are bugging me, I can show them my immunization
record and say, "Sorry, I've already donated."�
Copyright 2010 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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