CNN (October 14, 2009)
"Swine flu vaccines are rolling out this month -- finally. Health-care workers in Indiana and Tennessee were the first to get the nose-spray version, while New Yorkers clamoring for the H1N1 vaccine finally had their chance too.
"However, the onslaught of information about H1N1 -- be it playground rumors, employer signs telling you to cover your cough, memos from your kids' school, or scary-sounding news reports -- is making it pretty hard to figure out what you should be doing right now.
"Although some people have already been vaccinated, it could be weeks -- depending on your age and risk factors -- before you even get a chance at the shot (or spray). So now what?
"Sometimes it feels like you have two choices. A: Wring your hands endlessly about something over which you have no control. Or, B: Tune out the static and pretend this is all just a horrible dream. (Call it the ignore-the-whole-sorry-mess-until-my-neighbor-is-sick approach.)..."
I wasn't surprised to read that choices A and B were both pretty much a waste of time and effort.
The article is a rather anti-climactic set of common-sense advice:
- Look up local flu outbreaks
- Don't panic
- Stay home
- If you're sick
- I'm as gung-ho for the work ethic as the next fellow - but seriously!
- If you're sick
- Understand the risks
- Get a pneumonia vaccine
- Wash your hands
- Don't stock up on face masks or Tamiflu
- Get a swine flu vaccine -- really
- Be prepared
That "don't panic" bit of advice reminds me of a minor crisis at one of my jobs. I wasn't emoting as much as some of the other employees, and a supervisor asked me if I cared about the problem. I asked, "would it help if I panicked?" The answer was "no." (We solved the problem, eventually.)
Back to H1N1.
The CNN article repeats an AP poll, saying that about 1/3 of American parents haven't had their children immunized. My son got a flu shot today. (I haven't found out if it's specifically for H1N1 yet.) His arm is sore, but that he'll get over.
Very few people really enjoy getting stuck with needles: but immunizations really do make sense. I doubt that I'll be able to get an H1N1 vaccination until the pandemic's over: but I did get my annual flu shot.
Conspiracies, Lizard People, and CNNFor someone looking for an expose, revealing that space-alien shape-shifting lizard people like former President Bush and the British Royal family (I'm not making that up) are behind the H1N1 pandemic - this CNN article will be an enormous disappointment. Or, proof of the lizard people's nefarious plots: they're so powerful, you see, that they're suppressing The Truth (which is, 'as is well known,' Out There).
I'll be back, another day, with some 'conspiracy theory' angles of the H1N1 pandemic. And, no: I don't think They (Masons, Illuminati, Rosicrucians, Shriners or the Girl Scouts) are either making the whole thing up - or engineered the H1N1 virus. (I suppose the Girl Scouts might be plotting to sell more cookies as a result of this pandemic - but I can't figure out how.)
Pandemic (H1N1) 2009? For Me, It's PersonalH1N1 / swine flu is going the rounds here in the central Minnesota town where I live. Down in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, a youngster was the seventh Minnesotan to die of the disease. (October 8, 2009) A friend of my son's got H1N1, but happily he's still alive.
Although I'm taking sensible precautions, it's quite possible that I'll get it myself. In which case I am going to do my level best to stay alive.
But I'm not going to go crazy with fear or anxiety. 2009 H1N1 Flu is a serious disease: it seems to be more infectious than the usual run on influenza viruses, and can hit people a lot harder. But it's no Satan Bug.
I'll take reasonable precautions to keep myself, my family and my neighbors uninfected, and leave it at that. Life is inherently risky - and 2009 H1N1 Flu is just another risk, like being hit by a car or falling down stairs.
List of posts relating to Swine flu 2009; and list of background resources: