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OPINION THE DARK CLOUD AROUND TOURISM'S SILVER LINING EDITORIAL When winter arrives elsewhere in the nation, accompanied by ice, snow and frigid temperatures, we continue to bask in balmy temperatures here in Southwest Florida. However, when the current epidemic made its inexorable way across the country, Florida was not spared as one of the hot spots of infection. And we have had a warmer-than-usual winter so far. Winter also brings outbreaks — even epidem- So why are we suffering this much? The answer might just come down to one word: tourics — of the flu. Epidemiologists tell us that ists. cold, dry air dries out our mucous membranes and makes us more susceptible to viral infec- As much as we love their visits to our little tions, which helps to explain why being sick is corner of paradise, especially their generous another ill effect of the season. And it should spending, visitors to Southwest Florida come from all over the fropresent yet another zen wasteland to our benefit of our warmer Everyone reading this likely has north. Too often the weather. Not breathing frigid, dry air should been affected by the flu this season, either pernicious flu virus personally or through a loved one. hitches a ride with make us less prone to them, and our warmer catching the flu.

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