According to the Arlington County website, Arlington Public Health is closely monitoring the Crystal City Hyatt for an outbreak of Norovirus, which the site dubs “winter vomiting illness.” Is this the more common term for this type of illness? Do parents send notes to school asking to excuse Johnny for missing three days of school on account he got the winter vomiting illness?
It’s bad enough that we have such an illness roaming around our creepily deserted Crystal City, but when the County decides to give the malady a nickname like that, I am not sure whether to giggle like Beavis or wonder how they came up with the moniker. Probably very smart officials on different levels had an off-site to discuss what to call this illness so that the rest of us could understand, since “norovirus” is obviously beyond our capability of understanding.
“I know,” one says, “let’s call it ‘the winter vomiting illness’ and that way people will be able to easily distinguish it from a regular stomach bug or the salmonella. Those can happen in winter as well, I suppose, but I think the ambiguous yet different name is adequate.”
“That’s why they pay you the big bucks,” Another replies. “Let’s call that problem solved and get on to what to call that condition of having blood flow from your nose after getting hit.”
For those of you less interested in making fun of a name and more concerned for how to prevent getting the winter vomiting illness, here is a tip from Arlington County: frequent and careful handwashing to prevent the spread of illness- at least 20 seconds in hot, soapy water (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice)
I can count to 20 seconds, thank you very much. You don’t have to dumb it down quite that much.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs