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Harris Blackwood: A bout of the crud is no way to start off a new year
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

I have been sick this week. I hate being sick because I am not a good patient.

During the heavily medicated hours, I have tried to play back where I caught the flu or whatever I have.

I was in New York after Christmas. I have been in New York when TV stations do the germ test. One of the places they swab is always the handle on the subway, and I am a subway rat when I am in New York. I do wash my hands with warm, soapy water afterward. I always mentally sing “Happy Birthday to You” which is the amount of time you need to get your hands sufficiently clean.

They also said on TV that one of the least sanitary places you’ll encounter is the TV remote in your hotel room. My wife saw that one, too. She never leaves home without a disinfecting wipe to sanitize the remote down to the last digit.

I was also on a commuter train and for about three hours on a plane. Yes, I heard people hacking and coughing around me. I held my head down. It didn’t work.

I think this was just my New Year’s to get sick.

It seems that about every other year, I catch somebody’s bug just in time for the start of the New Year. I haven’t seen Dick Clark or Guy Lombardo in years.

Update: They’ve both been gone for years. I guess I was sick and missed that.

I came home from the doctor with two injections and enough prescriptions to get me well, or so I thought. By Tuesday, I was back at the doctor for two more injections and even more prescriptions.

The medicines have made me sleepy. I slept and feel a little better. I woke up and decided I should write a column, especially since I am running into deadline.

For those of you who might ask, yes, I did take the flu shot in October. Obviously, it didn’t cover whatever strain of influenza I encountered.

I’m working hard to be well in time for next week when the legislature comes to the Capitol for a 40-day stay.

The Capitol is a place for nonstop glad-handing. I shake hands daily with everyone from the fine state troopers who greet you at the door to the top leaders of our state. The trouble is they have shaken hands with 200 other people who may not be as hygienically concerned as I am.

I’m going to stuff my pockets with little wipes or that alcohol-based stuff that they tell you not to use too much to clean my hands. Oh, I fully realize that hand contact is not the only way to contract a sickness, but it is a big one.

If you feel bad, get medicine early. I did and I still got sicker. Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of liquids to keep yourself hydrated.

If you have the resources, go to a doctor. For goodness sake, don’t base your medical care on the advice of a newspaper columnist.

And, if you, like me, are recovering from the crud, please get well soon!


Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on

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