Purging the bad stuff of 2012 so the new year can start with a clean slate has become something of a tradition in New York City’s Times Square, where the Times Square Alliance hosted its sixth annual Good Riddance Day last week.
A Dumpster and giant shredder were hauled in so people could trash all their worst memories – tax records, insurance forms and painful reminders of Hurricane Sandy, unemployment and cheating ex-boyfriends.
Catharsis is supposed to be a good thing, so here’s some health-related baggage we’d like to see consigned to the shredder before the year is over:
- The politicizing of health.
- Public messages that hype or oversimplify health issues.
- Health scare tactics.
- The demonizing of obesity.
- The urge to pathologize a condition in order to sell a product or service (“You aren’t coming down with a cold; you have a pre-cold!”)
- Cluelessness by health organizations about the patient experience.
- Automated phone systems that strand patients in voice-mail no-man’s-land.
- Pill bottle caps that are complicated and difficult to open.
- The scale at the doctor’s office.
Into the Dumpster with all of them! Here’s to a fresh start in 2013.