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Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Published: 5/2/2009

Obama was cruising - until he 'contracted' the flu

BY ROSE RUSSELL

YOU know how it is when you're on a car trip. You're driving down the highway - stroking - and just when you're settled deep into the groove, one of the kids has to go to the bathroom.

Well, now, for me at least, since my children drive now, they can make their own decision as to when to make a pit stop.

But when I'm driving and the dog is in the car, I still have to stop when I begin to hear a lot of whimpering that rises into a crescendo of loud whining and then high-pitched barking coming from the back seat.

All right. So I won't blame Z-girl for having to stop often during trips in the car. Didn't I just write about getting older? Yeah. So you know what I mean when I say stopping more regularly is for me as well.

Even so, it seems as though there's always something to slow you down, whether it's another driver, the sight of a police car, or the need to go.

I wonder whether that's how President Obama felt this week as the press marked his first 90-plus-10 days in office and reports of the H1N1 (swine) flu flooded the headlines.

You have to admit that in little more than three months the President was stroking, appearing to accomplish more than his immediate predecessor did in around 2,900 days.

Mr. Obama has put a stop to torture; released detainees from Guantanamo Bay; handled the economy like an experienced navigator of a ship being tossed on a raging sea; fired the CEO of an American auto company and demanded that the others get their acts together - or else; dazzled foreigners on a whirlwind international trip; continues to wrestle with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; has begun laying the foundation so everyone can have health care; has insisted that schools get their acts in order, and still had time to visit neighborhood schools in Washington, D.C.

And all that's just for starters.

This President has done that and more - so much that my head spins trying to keep up.

But then - bam! - along came H1N1, which at first seemed as though it wouldn't spread.

"Wash your hands," Mr. President said.

Yeah, sure. Who would ever have thought the President of the United States would be telling the American people to wash their hands and to cover their mouths and noses when they cough and sneeze?

That's what he said at the beginning of the week. But toward the end of the week, yesterday, in fact, the President's fatherly advice seemed a little too basic as more Americans were reported to have symptoms of H1N1.

He's right, though. Good, sensible precautions such as not traveling if you have flu symptoms, or, once diagnosed with the flu, staying home until after the symptoms are gone can contain the spread of this flu and any other.

The idea of this flu becoming a pandemic is frightening, no question about that.

So far, at least, public health authorities are not talking about another vaccine as they did so quickly back in 1976.

But blast that H1N1. President Obama was sailing right along trying to right this nearly capsized ship of a nation when along came the flu.

Guess that's how it is when you're President.

Meanwhile, take Mr. Obama's advice.

And while doing so, bear in mind that more people die from so much else - such as what is outlined from our guest on the editorial page - that it behooves Americans to be careful about everything they do.



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