Friday, June 14, 2013

This Week's Got-My-Goat Moment

First of all, my it's-all-about-me disclaimer.
I'm a (mostly) grown-up class clown and practical joker, and I generally go through my days in an emotional range from calm and even-tempered to laughing. If nothing else, because it makes my food digest easier. I am not Glum from the cartoon Gulliver's Travels ("We're doomed!").

But any number of passing items, and most especially from The Powers That Be, look to me, and always will, like the antics of kids standing in a wading pool of gasoline and trying to light a road flare: hilarious on YouTube, but not so funny when they're set up on my front porch.

So this week's moment was while trying to glean any nuggets of wisdom from someone talking about their foreign relief trip to uplift the world's downtrodden. Specifically, when, having stayed once at a Holiday Inn Express once, they opined about when antibiotics were appropriate, or not.

And proceeded to name as bacterial infections two things which are anything but, and for which the proper antibiotic is frequently best delivered from a bar of Lifebouy, followed by a warm shower and a clean bath towel, followed by topical application of OTC medications.

Folks, doctors spend around 6-8 years, after college, learning the best ways and times to use antibiotics. And bear in mind, they miss diagnoses (a nice way of saying "Screw up royally") too, despite it being their job, and proceeding from the best intentions and scrupulous attention to the best information available.

So please, for the love of facts, medicine, common sense, and the Holy Flying Spaghetti Monster, if you don't know what you're talking about with regard to antibiotics (or aerodynamics, or thermodynamics, or any other deeply technical subject), either learn enough to speak about what you do know with a modicum of actual knowledge, that you got the hard way - by learning it - rather than winging it, or else simply and succinctly adopt Will Roger's advice, to "never pass up a good opportunity to shut up".

What we don't need, when discussing home medical care, or survival situations, or expertise on anything else, at the counter, the coffee table, the street corner, or the intarwebz, is another conga line of the blind leading the blind. Unless someone knows how I can send them all tour bus tickets to the nearest cliff. (I promise to upload that video to YouTube.)

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