Why the Happiest Place on Earth May Not Be the Healthiest

The two Disneyland “Park Hopper” tickets I’d “won” at a charity auction a year ago had been burning a hole in my phone case ever since – and were about to expire. After all, the “Happiest Place on Earth” was closed for 412 days (March 2020-April 2021), so the only time I’d been able to enjoy the Park was when it graciously opened its Toy Story parking lot to provide over 200,000 COVID vaccines to Orange County residents. And, once the actual amusement park reopened, other priorities intervened – until last Sunday!

Triple vaccinated, wearing a KN95 mask indoors, in lines (and usually on the streets), and using hand sanitizer after touching anything, I was fit as a fiddle, walking over 23,000 steps, going on 19 rides, and loving every minute of it…

…Until the next day.

Monday morning, I woke up with the worst cold of my life. Tuesday wasn’t much better, so I dragged myself out of bed to go to a local walk-in urgent care clinic to get tested. Once there, I was told “NO,” because I didn’t have an appointment. Turns out, all 16 of these clinics were now COVID-testing by appointment only, and the only way you could get an appointment was to nab one between 12:00 and 12:10 AM when they opened the online-queue (very reminiscent of trying to get a COVID vaccine last February). Still, because I didn’t have common COVID symptoms such as fever, coughing, diarrhea, and vomiting, I didn’t really think I had COVID. But, fortunately, Wednesday morning, I was on the largest Telehealth call imaginable – our ABL-Health OC ZOOM Table – and after sharing my plight, several ABL Members assured me I didn’t just have a cold: I had COVID.

Right after the Round Table, I reached into my “COVID prop bag” (for a vlog I’d planned to record last Monday) and took the test: sure enough – even before the “CONTROL” line came up, my “COVID” line was a dark purple.

10 Items Every Household Needs to Have at Hand

So here are the items Bob Curley recommended in his excellent Healthline article to have handy – because once you’re sick, you won’t feel like going anywhere to get them:

  1.  Clean water – the National Academy of Medicine recommends 3.7 liters for men, and 2.7 liters for women; plus hot tea is soothing.
  2.  Pain meds – preferably Tylenol, to reduce headaches, body aches, and fever; I suspect taking several a day helped keep those symptoms at bay for me.
  3.  Tissues – ah yes; last Tuesday I went through an entire big box of them!
  4.  Cough medicine – along with fatigue, congestion or runny nose, coughs are very common Omicron symptoms; and honey is soothing.
  5.  Zinc – for its antiviral properties, including Cold-Eeze lozenges, for easing upper respiratory symptoms.
  6.  Vitamin C – to support immune cells; and Turmeric and Ginger – for their anti-inflammatory properties.
  7.  A thermometer – to test both at the beginning and, more important, at the end – since being fever-free is one of the requirements for ending self-quarantine.
  8.  Hand sanitizer – and products to clean and sanitize “shared spaces” with others you live with.
  9.  COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Tests – good luck finding them at your local Walgreens or CVS; fortunately, currently Amazon has iHealth’s tests (2 for $17.98), and Walmart has Abbott’s BinaxNOW tests (2 for $19.88).
  10.  Your Doctor’s Phone Number – if your fever goes over 103, or other symptoms cause enough discomfort that you need to know “next steps.”

PLUS, other “activities” Jennifer Ty, DNP, recommends include twice daily steam inhalation, walking in the sun, and drinking lots of hot tea with honey. (Although keep in mind how far away from home you can walk, drinking all that hot tea with honey!).

AND, one activity Jennifer recommended we don’t do is walk into a pharmacy: that’s where all the sick people are! If you really must go (and Amazon can’t deliver what you need fast enough), use the drive-up.

Guests Beware

In the finish, since Disneyland doesn’t require proof of vaccination, or to leave six feet between guests in line – let alone when packed-in for the “pre-show” for its newest ride, “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance,” it’s best to take the Park’s admonition seriously: “An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. The State of California strongly recommends that all Guests be fully vaccinated or obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the Disneyland Resort.”

And sometimes even that won’t protect you.

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ABL Healthcare and Technology InsightsBy Mimi Grant, President, Adaptive Business Leaders (ABL) Organization – Round Tables and Events for CEOs of Healthcare and Technology Companies