Season of Greetings

It’s amazing the year is nearly over, the halls are decked, candles lit, celebrations scheduled. Friends and families gather, eat too much, hug and kiss, pass around gifts and graciousness…and microbes.

Laboratory professionals know all too well that “Seasons Greetings” are just the thing for passing along your favorite virus or enteric pathogen. This year, we are especially conscious of the contagious nature in the world of unseen assailants. Global health has faced the disastrous affects of improper hand washing and challenging sanitation conditions; and not just with the Ebola crisis, but in refugee camps and among those facing the strife of war.

Laboratories don’t close for holiday celebrations…and laboratory professionals don’t always get the days and times off that would make them happy around the holidays. But this year I challenge us with two things:

  • Remember to offer “Seasons Greetings” with best practices and don’t take any of your laboratory favorites along to the parties and gatherings!
  • If you’re working that extra shift, or one that is encroaching on your family and personal time—remind yourself that there are so many in the world who would rejoice in the opportunity to be working, to be healthy enough to be working and free of disease, strife and conflict, and could watch their children and families smile, eat too much, hug and kiss and pass along “Seasons Greetings”.

My best to you for this holiday season, whatever ways you celebrate, and ‘tis the season to remember our colleagues globally and do something to make the world a little better place locally! Happy Holidays!

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Beverly Sumwalt, MA, DLM, CLS, MT(ASCP) is an ASCP Global Outreach Volunteer Consultant.

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