Save the Giant Sequoia

Save the Giant Sequoia

Being dwarfed by Earth’s most massive tree, the giant sequoia, fills you with wonder. By massive they don’t mean tallest, that lofty title belongs to the sequoia’s haughty cousin, the redwood. It’s hard to believe that a living thing can be so enormous and old. Now the truth comes out, sequoia are not only old, but fat too. Also known as Sierra redwoods, these trees of California’s rugged Sierra Nevada mountains can grow more than 250 feet tall. OK, I get it, we’re not good enough to be real redwoods. Hey, we look down upon you snooty ‘coastal’ redwoods. From up here, in our lofty mountains, you redwoods look pretty small. Their trunks can grow as wide as 30 feet. Again with the waistline, really do we need to keep harping about this?

Maybe I’m being too sensitive about this whole sequoia thing. I’m sure that I’m just imprinting with what happened at work yesterday. Tuesday, I participated in my first on-site screening. The company held these screening last year, but they were strictly voluntary. This year, if you don’t report your numbers, then a hefty tax will be tacked unto your monthly health insurance premiums.

I should clarify here, the on-site screening was a series of medical tests designed to access my health. There were height and weight measurements. They took my blood pressure and they drew blood. From the blood work they measured my cholesterol and sugar. I have all this done annually by my regular physician and I could have just reported those numbers, but I decided to join in.

The bad news was that I’m old and fat, but other than those two insults I escaped unscathed. Enjoining the on-site screenings is another program called the health self assessment. It is simply an online questionnaire. It is a year more advanced then the screenings though, it was made mandatory last year. Anne is also required to participate in this exercise, under penalty of jacked-up premiums.

It is hard to say where these processes are headed. There are certainly plenty of conspiracy theories being voiced around the virtual water-cooler. We are all feeling as if we are being slow rolled here, but with healthcare costs rising, I predict even more company involvement rather than less. It does feel like some giant foot is hovering directly over my head.

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