South Shore Breaker

A few thoughts about this and that



That’s the part that irks me. Let’s be clear here. I don’t care if someone takes something

I put out to the garbage, but what I do resent is the mess that is often left behind.

There is a great deal happening in the world these days. So much so that it boggles the mind.

We face serious major issues. Global warming, which has spawned massive natural disasters around the world, the threat of an escalating war in the Middle East and in Ukraine with the Russia invasion. Then there are important issues closer to home, such as poverty and homelessne­ss.

Clearly, there are no easy answers to these larger, all-encompassi­ng issues, so sometimes it's easier just to tackle those we can do something about, like those I'm going to address this week.


I have heard many people saying they've never had a flu shot and they don't intend to get one this year. There was a time that I, too, took that attitude about receiving the flu shot, but it wasn't so much that I didn't necessaril­y believe in the vaccine as it was that I simply hated needles.

Yup, I'll admit it. I hated needles. In fact, I still do.

Who doesn't? But the simple truth of the matter is that flu shots can save lives. The other considerat­ion is that the influenza vaccine is free and is now available in Nova Scotia.

While I've also heard some people say that don't get a flu shot because it's for old or sick people that simply is not the reality. In fact, Nova Scotians of all ages are encouraged to get the annual influenza vaccine.

Health experts say influenza can have serious complicati­ons for many people, including the elderly, children under five years of age and those with chronic health conditions. Vaccinatio­n is a simple, safe and effective way to prevent getting and spreading the virus.

The vaccine is now available from most pharmacist­s, family doctors, family practice nurses and nurse practition­ers. Many workplaces also offer flu vaccinatio­n clinics for employees. Families with children under the age of five can also arrange their vaccinatio­n through the local Public Health office.

In addition to the seasonal vaccine, proper hand washing and covering noses and mouths when coughing or sneezing are also important to prevent the spread of influenza and many other infections. People with influenza symptoms should stay home and minimize close contact with others.

Influenza symptoms often include a sudden high fever, headache, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat. It can lead to more severe illness such as pneumonia or even death.

So, simply put, the best defense against the flu is proper personal hygiene and receiving the vaccinatio­n. What are you waiting for? Get yours today.


I'm reminded of this issue every fall when I see piles and piles of household items stacked at the roadside waiting to be picked up and I can't help but think someone, somewhere could use these items. I'm also reminded of the frenzy this type of willynilly disposal method can create, and I wonder why other municipal units in Nova Scotia don't follow the example of Halifax Regional Municipali­ty.

Halifax designates a specific weekend during which people are encouraged to put out only those items that may still be useful, and during that weekend, anyone who needs the items is encouraged to pick it up and take it home.

The key to this project is that only useful items are put at curb side, as opposed to the approach taken by most local municipal units in which everything — useful items and bulk garbage — are placed for pickup. Of course, this method encourages others to root through the piles of items, take what they want and leave an unwieldy mess in their wake.

That's the part that irks me. Let's be clear here. I don't care if someone takes something I put out to the garbage, but what I do resent is the mess that is often left behind. I say take whatever you want, but please make sure you don't leave behind a mess for someone else to clean up.

Of course, this could be easily addressed if local municipal units also designated a specific day or weekend during which only useful items should be placed at the roadside and anyone who can use them is encouraged to take whatever they want. Garbage is left for another pickup day, and anyone caught looting at that time will be fined.

Problem solved and everyone should be happy — and that's the view from here.

Vernon Oickle, the author of 32 books, writes The View From Here column, which appears weekly in the South Shore Breaker.

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