Getting proactive

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 31, 2003

It is time for an ounce of prevention. An ounce, a tablet, an ampule of vaccine, or simply an overturned birdbath .

Many of our health issues can be stopped before they start, simply by being proactive. With the coming of spring and warm weather, we get far more than budding forsythia and blooming Bradford pears - we also get rabies and West Nile Virus.

The governments do what they can. Last year, as West Nile peaked with fatal result sin Louisiana, the government moved too late and other municipalities have had the bitter luxury of learning from Louisiana's example.

But it comes down to the average person to help in this battle. Although the city will soon begin spraying for the mosquitoes, and the State of Alabama will hold a rabies vaccination day for household pets, we have to do our part. The City of Andalusia and Covington County cannot treat every pot of water left in the backyard, or every old tire behind the business, left to collect water and mosquito larvae. If it can be emptied, it must be. If it cannot be emptied, it must be treated.

The State of Alabama will not make house calls to vaccinate your pet against rabies. No matter when or were the rabies clinics are held, someone will not be able to take his or her pet - but that same some one still has a responsibility to get that pet vaccinated.

The government cannot afford, either time-wise or money-wise, to take over every aspect of or lives - nor would we want it to.

Like children leaving home who don't want to rely on their parents anymore, we have to take on some responsibilities ourselves.

This is not merely a responsibility of one person and his dog - it is a responsibility to the entire community. West Nile Virus and rabies do not recognize property lines or possessions. In order to fight them, we must fight together.