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Here we are at the end of week number three and I still haven't fully grasped writing the date as 2012.

When is the accepted period for persons to greet you with "Happy New Year"? I'm still shouting that out at every available opportunity and have been getting some slightly annoyed looks, but I usually ignore this as a sign and sail on. Personally I feel if I haven't seen you since last year, this should be the salutation, but then I am usually wrong about such things. Clue-in the clueless via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., the world will thank you for it.

This week, I wish to highlight an observation I have been noting over the last few years. Am I having hallucinations if I think that pharmacies and doctor's offices have quadrupled in number on the Jamaican landscape?

We have been known for decades as the country with the most churches per capita, but I feel in a short while that will have to be amended based on my findings. The pharmacies especially are giving the churches a good run for their money. Yes, a sensible person would probably report that the increase is due to population growth; supply and demand and improvement in infrastructual requirements, but I say nay. It is a conspiracy to turn us into pill poppers!

I thank my dad for my primitive thinking. He has always abhorred visiting the doctor and I was born with those genes. Mom on the other hand believes in the doctor. She treats it like a relationship that needs constant attention to survive, so frequent visits, long telephone conversations that speak fondly of cured illnesses, real or imagined is the norm. Dad simply refuses to go. I can recall him getting a serious abrasion on his shoulder at work and he nursed it with his favorite 'cure-all'... a shot of 'whites' until the thing almost became gangrene and mom had to rush him to the emergency room. My dad will suffer silently just to avoid the visit. When I got gout in my hand, dad said his mechanic suffered the same thing and treated it with gas oil and whites. Gas oil for the gout and the 'whites' should be ingested nightly for two weeks. Needless to say, mom intervened here again, but we both thought she was panicking and should have given the qualified mechanic's remedy a chance to take root. The silly woman is too naïve to see that every time one goes to the doctor and gets a prescription, it usually results in another visit in the near future, with more medication and the cycle keeps repeating itself.

How do pain killers know where to go? Say I have a headache; I ingest a tablet, it travels through my entire system trying to find my head. Wouldn't that require stops at some other organs that weren't hurting? I'm just saying. No thank you. I will sap my forehead with some rubbing alcohol and sleep it off. The people with migraines are probably about to give themselves one reading this, but that's just how I feel, so calm down and breathe.

Seriously though, if you are not critically ill, I think you should try a home remedy or homeopathic treatment first before grabbing a pill. Reserve those for some really serious life-threatening moments. I've found that when I don't get sufficient sleep or don't eat on time, my body goes into rebellion and all sorts of ailments occur. I try sleeping on a good mattress; cut down on caffeine, sugars and alcohol; eat more fruits and vegetables; laugh at myself; be happy for others success; drink lots of water; exercise regularly and I don't really need to be filling a prescription so readily. A good friend of mine Randy, pointed out that ingesting some supplements, like Vitamin B12 and zinc can be very beneficial to the body and its well-being. The air is clearly more polluted with the increased dependency on manufacturing plants so asthma and sinusitis are commonplace. I tried flushing my nasal passages with salt water before bed and I've noticed a difference. In all things please consult your physician before jumping the 'pill' ship. Stay healthy and I'll see you next week. And for goodness sake, please laugh, laughter is still the best and cheapest medicine on the market. @ElvaJamaica on Twitter

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