This article first appeared on the PBS Website This Emotional Life.
“In order to learn the most important lessons of life, one must each day surmount a fear.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson, American lecturer, essayist, and poet
The flu – Suddenly it is everywhere. We read about it in the paper and see it on the news. We listen in fear to reports on how it invades our hospitals and schools, contaminating drinking fountains, public bathrooms, and restaurants. Each winter this invisible little bug returns with seemingly greater authority to disrupt our daily lives and spread paranoia throughout the community.
The fear and anxiety that accompanies seasonal influenza can also infect hospitals, chipping away at the mission for which they stand by causing patients to question a health care facility’s very ability to treat the infirm in times like these. As hospitals in Britain are forced to cancel operations and leave beds empty in preparation for anticipated flu cases, one can only hope that this patient surge in the United States does not escalate to needless panic over possible pandemic. … Read more →