By MS. RUTH ANN REPLOGLE, Staff Writer
I bet you have suffered from gethomeitis at one point or another.
Not sure what I am talking about? Consider this scenario: You have been cross-country, TDY, or deployed and you are en route home. All you can think about is how good it will feel to fall into your own bed, have your loved ones at your side, and finally have no tasks to rack and stack. Nothing matters but getting home—sometimes at any cost.
We call it “gethomeitis” (get-home-it is) around here, but it has also been called “last leg syndrome.” The problem with having gethomeitis is that you develop tunnel vision, and safety is the first thing to go.
Airmen succumb to gethomeitis several ways.
Unfortunately, by passing up much safer opportunities, you risk being infected by gethomeitis. Common symptoms include fatigue, poor communication, compartmentalization, and/or disorientation.
IMPACTS OF GETHOMEITIS
Gethomeitis overrides logic, sound decision-making, and basic instinct. It can cause errors in judgment. Being fixated on getting home can cause you to miss critical components. For example, you may only half-listen to the control tower warning you of possible bad weather and fly into it. Perhaps you do a routine check, but your mind is elsewhere and you inadvertently skip a step. Maybe you simply disregard your surroundings, opening yourself up for sabotage.
Other effects are accidents and injuries. Since gethomeitis can throw your senses and motor skills off kilter, you can become clumsy or find it hard to concentrate. As a result, you are more liable to cause harm to yourself or others when you have gethomeitis.
Fatalities are rare, but it is possible to get yourself or others killed due to your gethomeitis. Being in a hurry means you might be taking unnecessary risks that can have dire consequences.
HOW TO AVOID GETTING GETHOMEITIS
Gethomeitis can be avoided.
Letting down your guard makes you prone to gethomeitis. Complacency has no place in the Air Force, so build your immunity to gethomeitis and get home safe!