"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
While it’s not the official motto, this inscription found on the James Farley Post Office in New York City is often referenced as the slogan for the US Postal Service.
But how do those drivers manage to keep their trucks on the road and safely deliver all the mail? They most likely follow some of these best practices for navigating roads in inclement weather.
During heavy rain, don’t try to drive on a flooded road. Just six inches of water can cause you to lose control, and it can stall most cars. Keep in mind that it’s hard to tell the depth of the water, and the road below it may be washed out. If your vehicle starts to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas, keep the wheel straight, and brake softly if necessary.
Hail is another element that can cause havoc on the road. If you encounter hail, don't try to plow through it. As soon as it is safe to do so, pull over to the shoulder of the road.
Better yet, attempt to find shelter to minimize the damage to your vehicle commonly associated with hail. As you stop, allow plenty of room for braking.
When the roads are covered in snow (fortunately something we don’t have to struggle with here in Florida), the best thing you can do is slow down. Drive slowly, accelerate and decelerate slowly, and put more distance than usual between your car and other vehicles.
Of course, if you’re not on the Post Office payroll, you might have the option to simply stay home during inclement weather, which is highly recommended.
It’s Not Too Late to Get That Flu Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends flu vaccination early in the flu season. Still, it also suggests vaccination later in the season as well. So if you haven’t yet had your flu vaccine, it’s a good idea to get one.
While flu season peaks between December and February, influenza viruses can strike as late as May.
According to the CDC, respiratory issues and flu viruses peak in December, January, February, and March. And while we expect flu viruses to taper off in spring, early 2019 saw flu viruses continuing later into the year, according to WebMD.
The flu can lead to serious health problems, especially in children and elderly people. For those with chronic medical conditions (for example, chronic pulmonary disease), the flu can be deadly.
The CDC has reported between 36,400 and 61,200 flu-related deaths from October 1, 2018, through May 4, 2019.
Older patients are especially vulnerable if they have conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes.
Because patients with chronic conditions may not be able to cough as readily as non-compromised patients, they are less able to clear their airways, which can lead to secondary infections such as pneumonia. And as we age, our ability to generate an immune response weakens.
We simply don't respond as well to infections. This can make a "simple flu" a severe life-threatening condition in some cases.
If you decide to get a flu shot and your doctor is out of vaccines, call your local pharmacy or health department to see which facilities still have some available. This simple preventive measure just might save your life.
February Is Library Lover’s Month
Love to read? It’s your month! February is library lover’s month, and it’s a great time to celebrate by discovering or rediscovering all the wonderful things your library has to offer.
The Roman philosopher Cicero said, “If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need.” If you love to read, that sounds right, because a library is more than a repository of books: it is a sanctuary, a community center, and a rich source of knowledge for anyone of any age.
Plus, as reported in ScienceDaily, research shows that kids who regularly visit libraries do better in school. And adults can stay in touch and involved in continuous learning.
Of course, the Internet offers infinite reading opportunities. But a library comes with a librarian who has a library science degree and is eager and able to guide you. Your librarian can help you discover the “right” way to do research or find materials you can’t find anywhere else.
This month (and every month), there are many fun ways to celebrate and enjoy your local library.
Learn something new and meet someone new. Find the perfect book you’ve been searching for, attend a lecture, or join a library group. And while you’re becoming smarter, healthier, and better informed, find people in your community who share your interests.
Enjoy free resources. As well as free e-books, computers, Wi-Fi, music, magazines, and books, adult education courses are free too. Most libraries offer academic courses, and many offer arts, crafts, and creative writing, all free to library cardholders.
Attend a unique event. Find out what's on your library's calendar of events. In addition to children's storytime and special children's programs, you'll likely find author readings, book discussions, films, poetry circles, job search tools, and workshops. There may be seminars, parties, or book sales. Check it out! Whatever your goals, a library is a place to broaden your horizons and enrich your life.
How to Raise an Optimistic Child
By Meghan Moravcik Walbert
Despite unrelenting predictions of mass environmental catastrophes and descriptions of political unrest, you can still raise optimistic kids. Teaching children to be optimistic doesn’t mean avoiding reality. It means helping them respond to events appropriately. This includes putting events into perspective and, perhaps most importantly, being optimistic in front of them. More: https://tinyurl.com/worth0220a
How to Prevent the Internet from Tracking You
By Steven Max Patterson
Social media networks were once seen as sites for self-expression. Today, it’s easy to fret about eroding privacy online: finding practical and simple ways to protect yourself can seem complicated. Use this straightforward guide to help you fortify your online privacy, protecting both your personal and banking information as well as your digital footprint. This is not theoretical: the list includes specific suggestions for browsers, search engines, and software to use. More: https://tinyurl.com/worth0220b
4 Ways to Be a More Conscious Consumer
By Mama Minimalist
It might sound trendy to be a socially and environmentally conscious consumer. Still, it takes time to develop the habits necessary to create this mentality. Thankfully, this blog both defines what being a conscious consumer means and advises about how to pursue it. Quick insight: it requires planning, research, and saying “no.” More: https://tinyurl.com/worth0220c
Protect Yourself from Auto Insurance Fraud
Eighty billion dollars. That’s how much insurance fraud costs American consumers each year, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. This amount of money could buy new vehicles for 2.4 million people (which would cover every driver in Oklahoma.)
This alarming cost takes many forms. It might involve staging an accident to make false injury claims. Or it might include inflating damages to get a higher insurance payout.
Whatever scam is involved, the cost of the fraud ultimately gets passed along to consumers as they are forced to cover false claims, investigations, legal activities, and (potentially) higher insurance premiums.
To protect yourself from these costs, take the following precautions against insurance fraud.
Drive defensively: Never tailgate. Other drivers may take advantage of the situation to stage an accident.
Report accidents: Even if the damage is minor, always report any auto accident to the police. Be sure to obtain a copy of the police report. This will provide proof if the other driver tries to make false claims down the line.
Document everything: Take pictures of the vehicles involved in an accident. These images will document what damage (or lack of damage) is present to prevent false claims or exaggerations. Additionally, record the details of the incident. This should include license plate numbers, contact info and driver's license numbers of all drivers, and contact info for any witnesses.
Avoid scammers: If anyone appears at the scene of an accident and attempts to guide you to an attorney or a specific doctor, turn them away. This is a red flag that they are attempting insurance fraud. The same is true for doctors who insist that you file an injury claim even if you’re not hurt. If this is the case, you may need to find a new doctor.
Consult quickly: Regardless of fault, report auto accidents to your insurance company as soon as possible. We’re here to help you navigate any claims and protect you from insurance fraud.
What Are You Doing to Celebrate Leap Day?
Leap day is a quirky calendar event that triggers traditions and invites superstitions.
Introduced by Julius Caesar more than 2,000 years ago, it happens every four years as a way to sync the calendar with the time it takes for the earth to circle the sun.
The next leap day arrives on February 29, 2020, so here are a few quirky beliefs about this day.
Thoughts about birth:
For many, being born on February 29 is much like being born on Friday the thirteenth: unlucky! For others with a more upbeat outlook, it is considered a super lucky day. Those folks call themselves Leapers and are invited to join The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies.
Thoughts about marriage:
In Greece, it’s considered unlucky to marry in a leap year because unhappiness is sure to follow.
In Ireland, traditional gender roles are flipped, and women are permitted to propose to their beloveds on leap day. (They are expected to wear pants or red petticoats when they do.)
Should the man refuse the proposal, he is expected to buy either a silk gown or 12 pairs of gloves for the woman. In other parts of Europe, a man who refuses must simply pay a financial penalty.
Thoughts about sports:
Interestingly, the Olympics occur in leap years. But maybe that’s a lucky coincidence.
Thoughts about food:
The frog is a symbol commonly associated with leap day. Perhaps the menu for your leap year party should include frog legs?
This month, some famous quotes on love:
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
A loving heart is the truest wisdom.
You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.
Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.
Love has reasons which reason cannot understand.
Love doesn’t make the world go ‘round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
The things that we love tell us what we are.