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Working from home

November 6, 2009


This morning I woke up with a splitting head ache that my usual cup of coffee did not sooth.   By the time I got to work and checked in with boss-man George,   it was clear.   I am coming down with either a good old-fashioned cold or the flipp’n flu bug that is going round.  One of the benefits of my job at UVM Extension is that I can work from home on my lap-top and I have sick time,  so that I can take care of myself and not spread the what-ever-this-thing-is around the office or in the field to the farmers I work with.   I am the Farm Safety Educator for our grant.

My name is Alexandra Jump and I am part of the VT AgrAbility Project team, the blogger behind the Farmsafe profile and I work out of the Morrisville office. I  would not be much of a farm safety educator if I didn’t practice what I preach, so I have taken steps to hunker down and let this thing run its course.

head shot1I had a bunch of cold/flu supplies in the  kitchen cupboard and about a month ago I went through and checked all the expiration dates of the over the counter type pain/fever/stuffy nose/cough relievers.    I pitched the stuff that was expired and stocked up on stuff that was low.    On the way home I picked up easy to make meals from a bag, soup, tea,  ginger ale ( ‘cus my grandmother always gave me ginger ale when I was sick as a kid) and some new sniffle/cough/achey/ flavored syrup stuff.  Orange for the day and green for the night.  Don’t know if it will get that far, but I feel better just being prepared.

Flu shots, especially the H1N1 has not been easy to come by and it seems that the bug is out  and about before the shot. Still I will continue to try and get them when available.   I have made two attempts so far.  I am on my Dr.’s list, but behind folks who are more at risk for complications than me.

I am not a germ-a-phobe by nature, but I have been really careful to wash my hands often, wipe down work spaces with a anti-germ disposable wipes, get plenty of rest, good exercise and not let myself get run down.  I worry about some of the farmers that are already under a pinch and don’t have the luxury of sick time.  Cows gotta be milked, sheep gotta be led to pasture, pigs need their slop, and you can’t call in sick.

Farmers can be ready for the “what if I get sick”  possiblity by taking a quick minute to  make a plan.   Talk with your doctor about the flu shot and get one if it recommended.   Plan with your family and farm workers on how to continue getting the job done, if you go down for a few days.  Decide in advance who is going to cover each task.  Check your supplies and get rid of the over the counter stuff that has expired and then replenish.  Have a bunch of ready to make meals on hand.   Then if you get sick, don’t try and be a hero by pushing though, it just might make it worse, take longer to get rid of , or worse yet you might just spread it around.  Be selfish and keep it to yourself, take care of your self and get better soon!    Time now for a nap.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2009 3:12 pm


    You are so right in that farmers should consider getting the vaccination, after talking about it with their doctor.

    Seems that the shots are getting more available, I was able to get my shots yesterday at my Dr.’s office, persistence pays off.

  2. Margaret Gilman permalink
    November 13, 2009 1:43 pm

    Hope you are feeling better Alex. I had a doctor appointment for a seasonal flu shot, which I could not get because they had no vaccine. She recommended I get one “anywhere” I could. I was fortunate to be one of the 100 people to get vaccinated at the local grocery store clinic. Since then I haven’t seen many clinics offered. After having the flu two years in a row, once on vacation in Florida, I made a promise to myself and my family that I would get the vaccine.

    I hope VT Farmers will consider themselves high on the priority list of people who should get the flu vaccine. Given the average age of farmers (over 58), the demands of stress and hard work, other existing health concerns, and general exposure to the virus; it seems most farmers would meet the criteria for at risk groups. Now the challenge is finding a place to get vaccinated.

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