Updated on: June 8, 2020

Crazy, Cleaning, and Calamine Lotion

Original story posted on: June 5, 2020

It’s kind of crazy right now, with the pandemic’s ups and downs, stores opening and closing, employment in certain sectors in the toilet while other sectors are booming, and unrest in some parts of the U.S. and the world. Yet there is a bright sun shining today. The birds are eating the grass seed my husband sowed last weekend, and a deer with her fawn are lying under the shade of one of our trees. For some, all is well!

Sometimes it feels like we’re in a lost world and just venturing outside for the first time. I had hoped to go to Bob Evans this weekend for some of their biscuits and gravy. Man, they are so goooood, but so baaaaad for my hips! But the restaurant side hasn’t been open for long, and I’m just not ready to take the chance. Does anyone else feel the same? Open it up for others, but don’t plan on seeing me at the door. I’m secure in my terrarium. How confusing can our lives be?

I recently had outpatient surgery and was so impressed with how compulsive everyone at the surgery center was about distancing, cleaning their hands, cleaning the rails on my bed each time I touched them, cleaning the notebook of my medical record, cleaning the rails on my bed again, cleaning the plastic bag they gave me for my clothing and then placing it under the bed AFTER they cleaned it, cleaning the blood pressure cuff that nearly cut off my arm…made me wonder what wasn’t cleaned before COVID-19. I have that same question about restaurants…what didn’t they do before COVID-19? 

I’m thinking we need to give the sanitizing manufacturers some ideas. I’m hoping that there will be purse- or travel-size Clorox or Lysol sanitizing wipes in little round plastic containers. Maybe they can sell the containers in decorative colors. And if the cap opens while in my purse, when I open my purse, it will release that wonderful clean fragrance. Imagine how helpful that will be if you have a cubicle mate that ate too much spicy food for lunch! 

For the parents out there, by now you may be thinking that the Surgeon General should stamp those babies on the way out with something like “hazardous to your health.” Hopefully, you can send your kids outside to play in this nicer weather. But with the kids spending more time in the backyard, the opportunity to catch poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac is calling. Be sure to have some rubbing alcohol, calamine lotion, non-prescription hydrocortisone cream, or an antihistamine on hand. Since finding rubbing alcohol is as difficult as finding toilet paper, some alternative options, other than something from your liquor cabinet, are cucumber slices, banana peels, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda. And please tell your kids not to do what I did when I was a kid. I ate poison oak and ended up being hospitalized!

Keep safe and healthy!

Rose Dunn

Rose T. Dunn, MBA, RHIA, CPA, FACHE, FHFMA, CHPS, is a past president of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and recipient of AHIMA’s distinguished member and legacy awards. She is chief operating officer of First Class Solutions, Inc., a healthcare consulting firm based in St. Louis, Mo. First Class Solutions, Inc. assists healthcare organizations with operational challenges in HIM, physician office documentation and coding, and other revenue cycle functions.

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