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Warning! Walking barefoot on the beach can be hazardous to your health

But not as hazardous as socialized medicine.

Who doesn't dream of a romantic, moonlight walk along the beach? Walking barefoot, feeling the sand between your toes. Sounds delightful.

But a couple of weeks ago, a Canadian couple returned from their vacation in the Domincan Republic to discover that the itchiness they were experiencing in their feet was the result of hookworms that they picked up from that barefoot walk on the beach.

According to the CDC:

The parasite species that cause cutaneous larva migrans — commonly known as hookworms or whipworms — mostly live in the small intestine but can be passed in the feces of an infected person or animal, depending on the species. If that person defecates outside, or if the feces is used as fertilizer, as it is in some countries, the eggs can be deposited in the soil. Some species prefer sand. Infections are most common in the Americas.

The most common source of infections is walking barefoot through contaminated soil.

(I'll let you pause here until you've finished shuddering.)

This little story has made all the major news outlets. I saw it several times in my newsfeed over the last several days. The media just LOVES to push stories like this. It's tantalizing clickbait posing as actual health news. And I'm sure it scares the bejeezus out of anyone who reads it. Panicked soccer moms start Googling to find out if any local beaches have been the source of infection. Hypochondriacs make frantic calls to their doctors complaining of itchy feet. Of course, these infections are rare in North America (or it wouldn't be "news") and most of us have nothing to worry about.

I clicked on the picture to get a better look at this poor woman's disgusting parasite infested feet (I know. I'm sick.) Here's the link to her Facebook page if you want to see for yourself: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10159992169025551&set=pcb.10159990850770551&type=3&theater

But that's where I found the part of the story that the media ISN'T REPORTING: according to the unfortunate tourist herself:

"Also, to top it off Health Canada denied our request to receive the medicine (ivermectin) we needed to treat our infection and were forced to get medicine from the states. Thank you Canada for your lovely health care you provide for us!"

Get that? These 2 Canadians return from a foreign vacation with hookworms in their feet and Health Canada - that would be the Canadian government run health care system (their version of Britain's NHS) DENIED THEIR REQUEST FOR THE MEDICINE THEY NEEDED TO TREAT IT! Note, the government run health insurance program did not refuse to PAY for the treatment, they refused to provide the medication at all! And where does an afflicted Canadian turn for health care when they are denied by their own government?

Why, to the United States of course.

And this my friends is why I am so adamantly opposed to socialized medicine. All of my liberal friends think it would be SOOOOO WONDERFUL because everything would be "free." First of all, there's no such thing as "free." There is no "free healthcare." There is only healthcare that is paid for by other people through high taxes. Countries that provide government run health care inevitably run into long wait times, shortages and denial of treatment. I know health care expenses in the US can be high. My company must have set a record on co-pays because my last trip to the ER set me back $750. I told my husband just to let me die next time (and he replied "For $750? Next time I WILL.")

But ask yourself: if your choice is between paying out of your own pocket for antibiotics or putting up with parasites crawling around in your feet, which would you rather have?

Goodness, Merrie_Soltis! I think the socialists didn't want to kill the parasites out of professional courtesy. :-)

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There is also a chance you can get struck by lightening while walking on the beach. A lot of bad things can happen, but unless there is significant risk (like eating undercooked chicken), it is best not to worry about the extremely rare things that might happen. And yes, this is another example of why socialized medicine is bad. Even if your insurance doesn't cover it, we can still buy the medicine in the U.S. Cost is a component, but access is another big one. If the U.S. goes the socialized medicine route (which I think we inevitably will), I plan to invest heavily in cash only doctors and hospitals (assuming they are still legal). We won't have a U.S. to go to to escape the ills of socialized medicine. Wealthy people will just pay cash and skip the wait, restrictions and regulations.

Why does everyone pick on soccer moms? We are a minority that never gets recognition in anything but a bad light. We're over careful with our kids, worry about every little cut and scrap. Well I'm here to tell you that I'm knitting a hat that looks like a soccer ball and I'm marching on Washington to gain recognition for those of us who are always getting a bad rap. You'll all be sorry so beware.

I actually had someone on Twitter complain about the fact that the new tax law all his money was going to go into Healthcare so he didn't benefit at all and blamed Trump instead of blaming Obama and the Democrats for giving us this Healthcare nightmare

Another opportunity for a 100 stars rating, just this AM.

There are more dire consequences to having Hookworm than the article indicated. Left untreated there are larger health consequences to having Hookworms in your system. This is just an excerpt from an article I read: "People can become infected when walking barefoot because hookworm larvae live in the soil and can penetrate the skin. At first, people may have an itchy rash where the larvae penetrate the skin, then fever, coughing, and wheezing or abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and diarrhea." In other words it can become life threatening if not treated. Chronic diarrhea alone can kill a person if not treated, but look at the other symptoms as well. Rescue dogs and cats are (or should be) tested for hookworm, and treated if found positive. Why? Because this parasite can cause untold damage if not treated. Itchy feet are the least of the problems a person can have if they have hookworms.

Just make sure you wear shoes in Washington... LOTS of parasites there.

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