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When sickness spreads

We have what appears to be a norovirus running through our extended family. Most of the afflicted got it last weekend, within 12 hours of our family reunion. But one sister just got it this weekend, and the fear of it, and worry of coming down with it but wanting to help the others with it, made me think of times in history when horrible illnesses raced through families and communities. Black plague. Spanish flu in 1917. 

It strikes without warning, those who have gotten it in our family, say. And you feel like dying for about 12 hours. Within 48 hours, all is well again. The only prevention? Avoid those with it. Wash your hands.

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.