Many who had decided to forego getting a flu shot earlier, are now lining up at doctor’s offices, hospitals, walk-in clinics and drugstores. Others who are already “feeling a little achy” are looking for relief that can ward off even worse symptoms.
It home for me this past weekend when my daughter, Elisabeth, called Saturday night to say that she had been sent home from work because she was exhibiting flu-like symptoms and looking a bit peaked to her supervisors. (Elisabeth is musical theater major at the University of Central Florida; and has a part-time job at a local restaurant.)
We told her to head to a walk-in clinic the next morning to get checked out for the flu; and if tested positive, to get a prescription for Tamiflu to help knock it out early. Tamiflu is most effective if you take it within 48 hours of contracting the flu virus.
She did go, and tested positive for the flu — of course. She got a prescription for Tamiflu, and Benzonatate (for cough). The Tamiflu prescription cost more than $107 to fill at her local Walgreens.
Yep, you heard right … more than $107.
We’re insured. And of course, she got the prescription. But it did occur to me that there are a lot of folks out there who are uninsured — and under-insured — who cannot afford to pull $150 out of their pockets to pay for Tamiflu.
Apparently, some doctors are realizing that too. Between a spotty shortage due to a run on the anti-viral medicine and the cost, doctors are giving folks a cheaper route by simply treating the symptoms.
To that end, they’re recommending folks take over-the-counter medicines like TheraFlu, DayQuil and NyQuil to hopefully get them through it.
But what would your grandma or nana say if she found out you were sick? Well, other than, “Here, take this, sweetie.”
That’s right; she’d say, “Don’t worry, grandma will fix you right up.” And she would too.
Everyone’s got some kind of “Old World,” home remedy for this kind of thing. Once, when I was down with flu-like symptoms from working non-stop, my wife’s mother gave me a concoction that had me out of bed and headed to the office and hour after I drank it.
To this day, I still have no idea what was in it. But I’m still alive 28 year later.
Then again, scientists really don’t know what it is about chicken soup that works either. But folks swear by it.
At a time like this, when the slightest sniffle, cough or headache has folks worried their coming down with the flu, it might be time to look up those old remedies.
A former colleague posted a tea remedy made from “star anise,” which is what TheraFlu is derived from, complete with instructions.
You never know what might work for some people.
To be sure, if you can get in to see a doctor, do it. And if you can afford Tamiflu, buy it. But if you can’t, it may be a good time to dig up grandma’s remedy.
Do you want to share that remedy? Of course you do… so please, leave it in the Comments section on this post. And feel better soon.
Lake Worth officials have made their choice as the city’s medical marijuana dispensary opened its doors — albeit quietly — Monday morning. No fan fair. No hoopla. No comment.
A bit of a contrast to the opening of Knox Medical in a former bank branch at 1 S. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, Palm Beach County’s first medical marijuana dispensary, back in November. Comparatively, that facility was welcomed with open arms by everyone. Then again, it’s located in downtown Lake Worth directly across the street from city hall.
The new Curaleaf store is located directly across the street — about 180 feet away — from a school. The Academy for Positive Learning is the city’s only A-rated public school; a K-8, 135-student charter school. The school of predominantly low-income students has an impressive rating of 9 out of 10 on GreatSchools.org.
Curaleaf, formerly known as Modern Health Concepts, was supposed to open as early as last fall. But there was an issue highlighted by a basic question: Should an all-cash medical pot store be allowed to operate across the street from a school?
The city, and eventually the state, said yes.
The school’s operator, Renatta Espinoza, said no. And I agree.
Because this is not about whether people suffering from debilitating diseases or conditions should have access to medical cannabis to ease their pain. In fact, 78 percent of Palm Beach County residents rightly voted in favor of Amendment 2 in 2016.
This, Espinoza says, is about putting a medical pot dispensary so near a school full of children is inviting unnecessary risk for her students, some of whom have to stand outside to catch the PalmTran bus.
Espinoza is afraid that ultimately, the all-cash business will attract too much of the wrong element. Exaggerated fear or not, the question is a legitimate one.
Enough so that when the Florida Legislature finally got around to putting rules in place to implement the law approved by voter referendum, lawmakers decided that these dispensaries should not be sited within 500 feet of a school.
The slow-moving Legislature was apparently too late with regard to Curaleaf and other medical pot dispensaries around the state that smartly refused to wait on waffling lawmakers. They applied to open-minded municipalities like Lake Worth, and received approval to locate where ever those municipalities allowed.
Having, for some reason, allowed Medical Health Concepts to locate across the street from Academy for Positive Learning in the first place, city officials felt they didn’t have an out by the time the Legislature acted. And Modern Health Concepts, now Curaleaf, wasn’t walking away.
What’s a little strange is that the city didn’t question the store’s owners more about their choice of location sans the Legislature. After all, the school has been there since 2014. Why risk making the city look like a bad guy bullying a tiny school lauded for its work with ESOL kids? (Espinoza, for example, is being feted in April by Florida TaxWatch Inc., a statewide non-profit, as one of its 2017 Principal Leadership Award winners.)
But Espinoza’s pleas — and full disclosure, the Post Editorial Board’s chastising — aside, Lake Worth officials say they had no choice.
To quote former Vice President Joe Biden, “that sounds like a load of hooey.”
There was indeed a choice: they city wanted either an A-rated public school at that location or a medical pot shop.
It looks like the city just made the wrong choice; which was to do nothing.
Take our poll, and let us know what you think in the comments section.
When my niece was about 13, her two favorite insults were “That’s old” and “Well, I’ve never heard of it.” We heard them mostly when she didn’t like whatever pre-2000-era song was playing on the car radio. It tickled us, because imagining that anything that’s escaped your seasoned and vast 13-year-old frame of reference is irrelevant is the height of hilarity. Girl, you can’t even drive or be out after dark without an adult. You’re funny.
While that attitude is hilarious when you’re 13, wishing your aunt would stop playing The Bangles in the car, it’s less cute when you’re a 22-year-old professional journalist who can’t come up with any better clapback at another journalist who disagrees with you than “Dude, you’re old.”
Because if you’re lucky, 22-year-olds, you’ll be old one day, too. And that’s a good thing.
I’m talking about Katie Way, a writer for a website called Babe.net, which I had never heard of before last week, a fact that doesn’t automatically make it irrelevant because I’m mature enough to know that I don’t know everything. Way wrote an explosive story about a sexual encounter between actor Aziz Ansari and an anonymous photographer called Grace, which has been characterized as everything from assault to a bad date. I’m not going to debate that point, because I wasn’t there, and if even the two people who were can’t decide on what happened, heck if I’m gonna try.
But CNN Headline News anchor Ashleigh Banfield had a lot to say about it, and after an impassioned on-air “open letter” in which she accused Way and “Grace” of carelessly belittling the #MeToo movement with a hap-hazard takedown. After Banfield’s clip went viral, Headline News reached out to Way, whose response was not only, as she wrote, “an unequivocal no,” but an attempt to highlight Banfield’s irrelevancy that just proves her own immaturity.
Way’s rebuttal does detail her “disgust” that Banfield never attempted to speak to her or “Grace” before blasting her on TV, and reiterates “Grace’s” bravery at speaking up and adding to the conversation. But too much of the email is a shockingly juvenile taking of umbrage with the fact that someone as old as Banfield, “someone I’m certain no one under the age of 45 has ever heard of,” would dare have an opinion. She attacks the older reporter as a “burgundy lipstick bad highlights second wave feminist has-been” and reiterated that “no one my age would ever watch your network.”
Oh, good burn, sweetie. Obviously if you wouldn’t watch it, it’s trash.
I am hoping that if Way had a moment to think about how she was responding before hitting “Send,” that she would have realized how dumb and unprofessional she sounds. See, Katie, you have a right to defend your work, and to defend “Grace.” But 50 percent of that defense is that the person criticizing you is too old to matter. And that’s petty and unhelpful. In case someone hasn’t told you yet, Ashleigh Banfield has interviewed world leaders. She is on a national network. She has almost 80,000 Twitter followers, a mark of success that perhaps someone your age might appreciate.
She may be someone you’ve never heard of, but a lot of other people have. And the fact that you think that she’s nobody because you don’t know her is rich, since a lot of people never heard of you or Babe.net before this Ansari story, either. Of course you disagree with her take. So do that. Talk about what you think is a lack of ethics. Talk about her professionalism. Talk about how you think “Grace” has been disrespected. Talking about her highlights and her lipstick means you’ve run out of argument.
Here’s the thing — being 22 and having a public platform is great. Having that sort of energy and passion at any age is something to be proud of. But if you are lucky, Katie, and all the other Katies out there who throw out “old” as a pejorative, you will one day be 30. And 40. And, as Banfield is, 50. And you will have made mistakes, and gotten a few wrinkles, and stopped recognizing half the names on the MTV VMA Awards. And hopefully you will have become accomplished in whatever field you chose, and have gained some wisdom.
Aging, if you’re lucky enough to actually not die before your time, is not a sin. It’s not bad. It’s just the natural order of things. There are many foolish 45-year-olds, and many wise 22-year-olds. All age says is how many birthdays you’ve had. It doesn’t automatically define how smart you are, how cool you are, or your worth as a person. Your ability to take criticism and not lash out at people? That’s another matter.
Because you know who was 22 years old once? Ashleigh Banfield. And you know who’s not gonna be 22 years old next year? You. Youth is not forever. But immaturity can be if you won’t listen. Don’t let that be you.
Nearly six years in the making, All Aboard Florida’s Brightline is finally beginning limited service on Saturday. But I joined a gaggle of reporters, and business and government VIPs this morning for a test run.
And once the four-car Brightline Green train got underway (about 10 minutes late), it was hard for me not to think of the travel possibilities this oft-maligned, privately funded high-speed commuter train can offer stressed-out drivers in South Florida.
Question is, will they buy into it?
During my six-year sojourn in Washington, D.C., I was a daily MARC Train Service commuter: Bowie State University Station in Maryland to Union Station near Capitol Hill, one hour each way. Having spent of most of my life and career in Florida, not known for its mass transit systems, it was a new experience for me.
This time of year, after standing out on a cold Beltway-area platform, I’d endure every noisy bump and grind that comes from a decades-old commuter train. It was worth it, however, to not have to endure driving and parking in D.C. — in either money or time.
Truthfully, my round trip from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale and back this morning on Brightline Green had me feeling none of those negatives but all the positives.
Yes, they’ve still got that “quiet zones thing” that needs to be fixed ASAP, but as a rider I was unaffected. I could hear the train horns blowing frequently as we crossed roads, but the train is so insulated that the blaring sounded like it was off in the distance.
That the Brightline folks dolled up everything for this morning’s “media event” was not lost on me. I didn’t have to put the slick-looking ticket-buying kiosk to the test. There were balloons and helpful, smiling Brightline employees all over the West Palm Beach station, and complimentary food and drinks. The latter included alcohol (although they may want to check that rum choice if they want to impress).
All the pomp aside, both West Palm and Fort Lauderdale stations — in cookie cutter fashion — were bright and roomy (emphasis on the bright). You have to wear sunglasses when sitting on the comfortable benches upstairs because the big glass walls let all the eastern morning sun in. There’s real food and drink for purchase (not vending machine stuff), a sci-fi looking play area for kids and a “pet relief” station outside.
The practical, common-sense accouterments — such as charging stations — are like those I’ve seen in more and more airport upgrades around the country to meet traveler demands.
The ride was smooth from beginning to end,whether speeding up, slowing down or stopping. There was no clickety-clack of the old railroad trains. This felt more like the Atlanta MARTA or D.C. Metro trains, but even smoother.
The most exciting thing on the ride was having to come to a near stop just after Hillsboro Boulevard in north Broward to make way for a passing freight train, apparently due to a motor vehicle accident. Otherwise, I spent time chatting with fellow journalists, asking questions of our hosts, fighting over-attentive train attendants, and getting lost in thought while staring out of the window at the sights (trees, undisturbed scrub vegetation, the curious lack of fencing in some areas, an errant store shopping cart here and there, and, yes, continuing work on quiet zones).
It’s obvious that All Aboard Florida (before it was Brightline) spent a lot time researching and visiting high-speed passenger rail systems in other countries– as well as Amtrak’s Acela in the Northeast. That accounts for the smart things like roomy leather seats, free Wi-Fi (that works), food and drink cart service and workstations mixed in with regular seating.
But the fact that Brightline officials were not able to get all of the quiet zone upgrades done before the limited launch is a disappointment that sticks in the craw of government officials — especially in Palm Beach County. So much so, nearly everyone who spoke at the West Palm station launch brought it up. West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, a huge champion of Brightline from the beginning, was so bothered about it that she didn’t even show up this morning.
One can’t blame her, given the political capital she has invested in this project. And Brightline officials, who’ve already tested the patience of just about everyone with their multiple false starts, need to get these quiet zones done by their self-imposed end-of-March deadline. Not because any public official can stop the train from running, but because Brightline needs those officials’ support if this private venture has any chance of being successful — much less aggressively expand in the way they’re hoping.
Again, this isn’t a passenger thing, but a public thing.
Passenger-wise, all I could imagine was having to get down to Miami International Airport for a flight to the Cayman Islands and being able to bypass all of that horrendous Interstate 95 traffic. And as if on cue during the southern leg of my trip, I took a minute to text a friend of mine who was driving from Boynton Beach to his law office in Fort Lauderdale.
Me: “Yo!… Taking the Brightline Green train down to FTL on a press junket… It’s pretty nice.”
Him: “I swear I’m on 95 and I just looked at the train tracks and thought about the Brightline. I know it’s starting for the public this weekend… I was stuck on I-95 this morning. 40-min. delay due to mva (motor vehicle accident) at Hillsboro.”
Yes, that is the same Hillsboro where we slowed down and lost maybe five minutes off our arrival time in Fort Lauderdale.
Look, admittedly, some of my cultural bias against commuter rail was run out of me by my time in D.C. As a result, my mind may be more open than most to the idea of hopping a train down to Fort Lauderdale or Miami for business or recreation. Basically, I’m not as wedded to my car.
Many South Floridians look at taking the train, and then stress about how to get from the station to a specific restaurant. It’s like they developed an allergy to a cab or never heard of a (gasp!) downtown trolley.
As good a ride as Brightline is — especially for the introductory price of $10 one-way to Fort Lauderdale ($15 for Select Service) — there is still the question of whether South Floridians are really ready to give up their automobiles for the train.
For me, after one ride, I say they should give it a try.
About the only thing oilier than rigs off the coast is the way the Trump administration withdrew its plans for offshore drilling along Florida’s shores.
In a move that smacks of greasing the future political prospects of Gov. Rick Scott, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke flew to Tallahassee yesterday to make a surprise announcement: That threat to allow offshore drilling we made last week? Never mind.
What prompted the reversal, a reporter asked? “The governor,” Zinke said.
“You have a tremendous governor that is straightforward, easy to work for, says exactly what he means. And I can tell you Florida is well-served,” Zinke said.
Eat your heart out, Gov. Jerry Brown in California. It now appears that the White House’s environmental decisions are unlawfully based on whether your state voted for President Donald Trump or is a swing state that might elect a Republican senator in 2018.
Trump has been wooing Scott for more than a year to challenge Sen. Bill Nelson, according to Politico, and Scott is widely expected to oppose the Democrat who has held the seat since 2000.
Let’s be clear. It’s terrific that the White House is discarding its cockamamie plans, announced last week, to extend offshore drilling for oil and gas to Florida’s coast. In fact, we denounced the administration’s designs in an editorial published this morning:
“No, no, a thousand times no.
“In no way should offshore oil and gas drilling be allowed off the coast of Florida.
“Or off the coast of the Carolinas, California, New Jersey — or any other coastal state, for that matter.”
No sooner had the editorial gone to press, however, than, in a surprise, Zinke swooped into Tallahassee to stand beside Scott and announce that Florida was being spared from the administration plans to expand offshore drilling nationwide.
Now, instead of a policy that’s bad for the whole nation, we have a policy that’s bad for the whole nation except, it appears, states dear to Trump. Already, three other states with Republican governors have asked for similar exemptions — Maryland, Massachusetts and South Carolina.
Democratic-led states, furious, are noting that this exemption thing is illegal. Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat and attorney, told Politico:
“Under the Administrative Procedure Act, an agency can’t act in an arbitrary and capricious manner. In this case, exempting Florida but not California (which has an even larger coastal economy) is arbitrary and capricious.
“So the agency would either have to not exempt Florida, or in the alternative, exempt Florida, California and any other state that can show the coasts are important to the state’s tourism and economy.”
In this nationwide drama of oil drilling, there may not be gushers. But there will be certainly be lawsuits.
Maybe the most furious man in Florida this morning is Nelson, who smelled a rat at once. Last night he tweeted:
Opposing drilling off Florida’s 1,300 miles of coastline has been the bipartisan position of Florida politicians, and a popular stance with the state’s voters, for years. But Scott used to waffle on the issue.
When running for governor for the first time, in 2010 — not long after the disastrous Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill — the millionaire business-turned-politician said he supported offshore oil drilling “with the right precautions,” a meaningless caveat, because what politician would ever want unsafe drilling?
But lately, the governor famous for allegedly scrubbing the words “climate change” from official communications, has positioned himself as a nature-lover. Scott has urged lawmakers to spend more on the environment in 2018. And when the Interior Department announced its proposal to vastly expand offshore drilling, he quickly criticized it and said he would talk to Zinke personally to try to straighten things out.
Scott’s spokesman, Jonathan Tupps, expressed wonderment that oil-drilling opponents wouldn’t be thrilled to see the oil-drilling plans scuttled. As Politico reported:
“Senator Nelson and anyone else who opposes oil drilling off of Florida’s coast should be happy that the governor was able to secure this commitment,” he said. “This isn’t about politics. This is good policy for Florida.”
And yet the Sierra Club of Florida said the decision was “a purely political move to aid the ambitions of Rick Scott.” The League of Conservation Voters called it a “publicity stunt.”
Perhaps they suspect, as I do, that the Trump administration wasn’t very serious about drilling off Florida’s coast in the first place. They announce a policy one week — and rescind it four days later? How committed to this policy could they have been?
But they sure gave our governor the chance to play the hero.
Seems here they’re trying to play us all for suckers.
Depending on your “point of view” the United States has either re-asserted its dominance on the world stage or confirmed its conspicuous exit.
To be sure, conservatives would argue the former saying that President Donald J. Trump’s tough talk and “America First” strategy leaves no doubt that American interests are what matters most when it comes to foreign policy. But liberals argue that such a self-centered mindset in an increasingly inter-connected world leaves us not only vulnerable, but looking kind of foolish.
At least, the latter was the gist of the reader Point of View in today’s Palm Beach Post:
Do we realize or care that as the world becomes increasingly one global interdependent economy, America’s marginalization will not only threaten our safety but our partnerships? Americans will feel more isolated and more paranoid, but continue to create more detachment and segmentation amongst us that will harm and change these United States irreparably?” ask Burton and Barbara Halpert of West Palm Beach.
Well, that’s a pretty hard line. It’s also indicative of a philosophical split within the Republican Party, according to an October Pew Research poll. (BTW, the same polled also revealed a similar split within the Democratic Party.)
“On questions of the U.S. role in the world, the country-first group is obvious. Three-quarters consider immigrants to be a burden to society; only 4 in 10 think that involvement in the global economy is good. About two-thirds think that openness to the rest of the world puts America’s identity at risk and believe that we should focus more on America’s problems.”
President Trump obviously plays to this crowd as America will no longer allow other nations to dis us while they are taking our money… Take that United Nations! Take that Pakistan! Take that Palestinians!
But does this present an image to the world of a divided America that is closing itself off?
POINT OF VIEW: U.S. is losing its standing in the world
In 2017, America saw the loss of nearly everything we have gained since the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. That is, how we and the rest of the world view how America approaches democracy, inclusion, humanity, and a place where morality, principals and ethics are not only embraced but openly debated.
Our current “leadership” has encouraged divisiveness not seen in this country in many decades. There is so much friction and hatred that friends who do not see eye-to-eye politically may not be able to salvage relationships. Families are urged not to discuss politics at gatherings so as not to create irreparable upheavals.
In the old days, contentious ideas were encouraged to nourish and build upon the foundations of which our country was established — morality, respect for those who are different from us and celebration for how a united country could contain such disparities with grace, dignity. There was an insistence that our elected officials try to promulgate these ideals.
Donald Trump was elected because he was seen as a political outlier and, indeed, he has proven to be so. His attraction for many who voted for him is that he will shake up Washington, and that he is like the common man. Well, he has shaken up Washington and the common man (and woman) will be paying for it for many years to come in terms of loss of health care options, short-term financial gains which after 2025 drastically cost the middle class, and making the wealthiest companies and individual much more so. Is Trump really like the common man who voted for him?
Our country has lost the respect of the world as we lose credibility with allies and foes alike. We are becoming increasingly destabilized in a global world because our leadership has no education of history, and therefore cannot utilize critical strategies to make our country safer without insulting other cultures. The bravado our president spouts about our country being stronger than ever before is “fake news.” Foreign news reporters say their jobs put them more in peril now then ever before because other countries are so hostile towards the United States. Is this what we sought when we elected Trump? Do we realize or care that as the world becomes increasingly one global interdependent economy, America’s marginalization will not only threaten our safety but our partnerships? Americans will feel more isolated and more paranoid, but continue to create more detachment and segmentation amongst us that will harm and change these United States irreparably?
Our leadership uses masterful manipulation to claim that we are victims. Trump models how not to be a victim by shouting, insulting, bullying and keeping a stable of lawyers employed to fight the multitudes of lawsuits that have been waged against him. And all the while doing so with billions of dollars in the bank. Is this really a role model that we can all identify with?
America needs to wake up and realize that gross mistakes have been made; and that it is OK to admit to mistakes because only then can we try and rectify them. Our country is the laughingstock of the world. And if you feel this is what is making America great again, then we can sink only further into the abyss.
May God bless and save the United States of America.