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‘Tis the season to be jolly and thankful. It’s also the flu season. So, when a few weeks ago I came down with bad headaches and a fever, I decided to just snuggle up in bed and tough it out. I had had my flu shot, so I thought I was immune. But when the headaches, fever and shivering did not improve after three days, I decided to drive to my primary physician Dr. Mike and got an appointment for the next morning.  

On the way home, I stopped at Subway next to Giant to grab a delicious sandwich and green tea. While sitting down to eat, I suddenly couldn’t keep my head up and felt like fainting. Struggling with what to do, I sat myself down onto the floor, and since my hands started to shake, I laid down on my back and put up my feet onto a nearby chair. Not a comfortable situation.  

That is when I encountered love and support from more or less total strangers. A young person, reminding me of Harry Potter with his glasses, called 911, and Kharel, the store manager, kneeled down to warm my hands. Somehow one of my hands was warm and one cold. I told him to continue serving his customers and an elderly lady took my hand.  

Finally, the rescue squad arrived, and they checked me out. At my age, their first thought was a heart attack. They asked me if I was allergic to anything, and I said, “I’m allergic to dye.” That brought some chuckles; I guess we are all allergic to ''to die.” At the hospital, Stephanie and Sally took care of me, and after some tests, I was told I had viral pneumonia.  

Once home again, I had to stay away from the office and people for several days because I was still contagious. Here I experienced support from my employees, Veronique and Steve (who kept the business running), and tender love and care from my wife and mother-in-law (making sure I took my meds and ate regularly). Once the fever went down, I started watching German television with my new online video recorder service. It is an affordable service allowing me to record more or less any German TV show and watch it at my convenience.  

Thankfully, the prescribed antibiotics did miracles. Coincidentally, I had recorded a German show about the worst-case scenario about antibiotics. I learned that it is very important to take antibiotics correctly and consistently and not to stop early, otherwise there’s risk of your body becoming immune to them, and that there might come a time when none of the available antibiotics are effective anymore. I also learned that there is a vaccination shot for pneumonia, which is not included in the yearly flu shot. I’m going to have to ask Dr. Mike about that one, soon. 

What lessons did I learn for the new year? I need to drink much more water, especially when I am sick with a fever. I shouldn't mind wearing a mouth cover if I’ve got a cold and am coughing; I don’t want to get someone else sick. I should shake hands less to spread fewer germs, even though it is against the way I was raised. I learned how kind and considerate people can be and hope to be just as kind to others.  

And most importantly, I learned that the human body is an amazingly complex organism. I will work on taking better care of mine in the new year. Wishing us all a happy, healthy, hopeful and thankful 2020. 

Klaus Fuechsel founded Warrenton’s Dok Klaus Computer Care in 2002 and is known for his German-American humor and computer house calls. He and his award-winning tech team work hard to save data and solve their clients’ computer cases. Any questions? Ask the Dok at 540-428-2376 or or go to 


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