Call It 'Prepression'

By Scott LaFee

November 4, 2020 5 min read

What with the pandemic and everything else, 2020 has not been a good year for most people. But 2019 wasn't all that great either. Three new reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest our communal mental health was suffering well before COVID-19.

Asked about anxiety symptoms in the two weeks preceding a survey, nearly 10% of American adults reported mild anxiety, and 3% described severe forms. Women and those ages 18-29 were most likely to say they were anxious.

Nearly 12% of respondents reported mild depression symptoms and 3% severe depression. White and Black adults were most likely to report depression compared with other racial groups.

Roughly 1 in 5 U.S. adults said they were treated for mental health issues in 2019, with 16% taking medications and 10% getting counseling.

Healthiest Counties in the U.S.

U.S. News and World Report recently published its annual listing of the healthiest communities in the country, based on 84 metrics in 10 categories that include population health, education, economy, housing and environment.

Nearly 3,000 counties and cities were assessed. Here are the top 10:

1. Los Alamos County, New Mexico

2. Douglas County, Colorado

3. Falls Church, Virginia

4. Broomfield County, Colorado

5. Routt County, Colorado

6. Loudoun County, Virginia

7. Pitkin County, Colorado

8. Carver County, Minnesota

9. Summit County, Colorado

10. San Miguel County, Colorado

One interesting takeaway: The lower the overall case rate for COVID-19 infections in a community, the higher the ranking. The top 500 healthiest communities had COVID-19 case rates 40% lower than others.

Body of Knowledge

You must be 18 or older to read the following: "Sex" is a simple word. Three letters, easy to pronounce. But for many cultures over the centuries, it has been a word to be avoided. Well, at least in 19th-century England.

The following are 17 recommended synonyms for "sex" in polite society, according to the "1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue": amorous congress, bread and butter, brush, clicket, face-making, blanket hornpipe, blow the grounsils, convivial society, take a flyer, green gown, lobster kettle, melting moments, pully hawly, riding St. George, a stitch and tiff.

Get Me That, Stat!

One hundred and fifty-six countries representing 64% of the world's population have joined a global cooperative aimed at ensuring accelerated access to COVID-19 vaccines. Three notable countries that have not signed on: China, Russia and the United States.


10: percentage of Americans infected with COVID-19 during the first wave of infections at the beginning of the year who developed antibodies to SARC-CoV-2

Source: The Lancet

Phobia of the week

Belonephobia: fear of needles

Best Medicine

First guy: "I'm working out regularly. Every day, I do 20 situps."

Second guy: "That doesn't sound like a lot."

First guy: "Well, you can only hit the snooze alarm so many times."


"As a people, we have become obsessed with Health. There is something fundamentally, radically unhealthy about all this. We do not seem to be seeking more exuberance in living as much as staving off failure, putting off dying. We have lost all confidence in the human body." — American physician and writer Lewis Thomas (1913-1993)

Medical History

This week in 1873, the first U.S. patent was issued for a dental crown. The hollow crown, composed of gold plate, was glued to a gold screw mounted on the old tooth and then hammered into the desired shape by the dentist.


Q: What is the stomach flu?

A: There is no such thing. The symptoms commonly associated with the "stomach flu," such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, can be caused by a virus, bacterium or parasite but not by the virus that causes influenza. The flu bug may occasionally induce nausea or vomiting, but that's much more common in children than adults. If you have vomiting or diarrhea for more than a few days, see a doctor.


"He Never Voted for Republicans and had Little to Do With Them" — Bill Kugle Jan. 20, 1925-Dec. 27, 1992

To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: geralt at Pixabay

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