South Florida Hospital News
Thursday August 6, 2020
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October 2004 - Volume 1 - Issue 3
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Publisherís Note

Of Shuddering Ö and Shuttering

I doubt that there are few potential natural disasters as nerve wracking as a hurricane. It starts in relative calm, when the weather service announces that a hurricane is forming somewhere in the distant fathoms of the Atlantic. Its maximum strength is yet to be determined. It may or may not approach land and, if it does, we have no way of knowing where it will land, what its path will be, or how much damage it will do.

Maybe we should evacuate, but maybe not. Perhaps we should cancel all activities, but letís wait and see. To me, itís always a good idea to stock up on supplies and batten down the hatches, but letís not panic just yet.

Just another day in paradise.

This September, we Floridians were tested severely by Mother Nature who battered us on all sides. Itís only one manís humble opinion, but I think we did ourselves proud.

Looking at the big, soggy picture first, I have to say that these worst of times brought out the best in our people. Our hospitals and healthcare facilities pulled together to ensure that anyone needing medical care would have access to it; our physicians, nurses, administrators and staffs remained steadfast at their posts, often staying at their facilities for days at a time. In the midst of horrific storms, these professionals remained islands of calm and comfort. As you travel through the pages of our Hurricane Perspective, youíll see exactly what I mean!

That commitment to others only reflected the same tendency so evident naturally in many of our fellow Floridians. I am simply astonished at how many individual acts of sacrifice, generosity and compassion occurred during such a stressful time. If there is a silver lining to the dark clouds of Charley, Frances and Ivan (and it appears as of this writing that Jeanne may be on the horizon), it was that.

But on a lighter note, in the midst of so much tribulation, I also found a silver lining of my own. As my wife Carol will tell you, if thereís one thing I like to do, itís shop. I referred earlier to Florida as paradise. Well for me, being ordered to shop by some government official is nothing short of Nirvana. I think The Home Depot may come knocking on our door to replenish their supplies! Meanwhile, when other Floridians were evacuating, my oldest son Josh showed upóostensibly to help with the shuttersóbut really because he didnít want to miss any of the excitement. (Who raised this kid anyway, Evel Knievel?)

I was glad he came, though, because I learned the hard way that putting up shutters isnít as easy as I thought. I mean, you hold them in place, pound some nails and turn some screws, right? Not quite and after reinstalling about 20 of them, I think we got the hang of it. (Compared to Carol, we were still the lucky ones. For while we were busy installing, uninstalling, and reinstalling the shutters, she succumbed to "weather advisory" psychosis. If Charley and Frances had been real people, Carol would have strangled them before we had the first shutter up. Especially when she realized our local Barnes & Noble was closed.)

But seriously, the important thing is we survived, and so did you. Even more heartening is that, while winds and rain ripped across our state, we Floridians hung onto that which is most important: each other. Old friends or new, advertisers or subscribers, letís always stay in touch.

Charles Felix

You can reach Charles Felix at sflahospitalnews@aol.com
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