The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Healthy Halloween - First Do No Harm

Halloween - the time when I takHalloween - the time when I take off my lab coat for work, and others put them on for costumes. A time when we dress as groups who pledge: "An it harm none, do what ye will" also stated as, "First, do no harm." Who are these groups? Read on.

The Wilderness Medical meeting where I have been teaching certification courses held a costume banquet last year. Medical professionals and students dressed in costumes depicting wilderness medicine. One couple was wearing outdoor clothing. I looked again and their faces were covered in red face paint. Except around their eyes, strangely pale. Also long thin white strips from eyes to ears. Sunglasses were propped on top of their head. They were sunburn. (White areas were those unburned, shielded by the glasses.) Another student was wearing regular clothing, except there was a large bat attached to his chest. Look closer. His face had strange white around the mouth. Rabies! Professors of envenomations wearing suit jackets covered with plastic bugs and snakes. Another wearing a giant falciparum, a protozoan parasite that causes malaria. Many others, simple, intelligent, and fun. When a solution in medicine is brilliant and simple at the same time, it is called "elegant."

For other events, one year I wore black jeans and sweater, and held up a black card with a white circle enclosing a black 8. People shrugged, "Oh, an 8-Ball."

I flipped the card. It was a black card with a blue triangle that read "I am The Magic 8 Ball" which got some laughs.
Flipping over the cards got them another blue triangle that read, "You May Ask Your Question Now"
I came ready with cards and never had to say a word.
They flocked over.
Lots of questions.
Funny how they can all be answered by the Magic 8 Ball.
A couple walk over together: 8 Ball: "I am The Magic 8 Ball." He: "Will I get lucky tonight?" 8 Ball: "Doubtful" She: "Will *I* get lucky tonight?" 8 Ball: "Outlook Good"
He: "Hey!! Not fair, how do you know that?"
8 Ball: "I am The Magic 8 Ball"
She: "Hey, you thought of a good costume"
8 Ball: "My Sources Point To Yes."

See photos of incarnations of other Halloweens past:
I am a living statue in Mischief is Not Good Exercise - Halloween Ahimsa,
and a Bodhisattva in Exercise Common Sense Discipline - Turn Down Halloween Junk Food. A Bodhisattva is someone who stays behind and postpones their reward to help others forward.

"Do what you will, so long as it harms none" is a rede - a long known counsel and advice.

Who pledges it? It is a specific part of Wicca practice and the physician's Hippocratic Oath. Two groups who dress as each other this week.

Encourage Health, not Disease on Halloween:

Come To the Fitness Fixer Virtual Halloween Party:

Halloween Forensics:

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Pumpkin child photo by Roger.C
Funny Rupert pumpkin photo
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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.