Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Let's All Take a Collective Breath... Calm Yourselves.

Well folks. I think the picture says it all. Actually, I'm going to write a little more to make my point crystal clear on this subject.
The wonderful swine flu! The big bad deadly pandemic that is going to rival the black plague, or in other words, a load of crap from our wonderful media. I am so sick and tired of all the fear mongering and paranoia going around regarding this H1N1 Flu. Everyday I turn on the TV or open up the paper, or talk to people on the street, it's H1N1 this, swine flu that, are you getting your shot? Can you believe there is a shortage of vaccine?
So for all of you who are either a part of the fearing crowd, or those who are confused about this flu strain; let me try to help you out. First off, I think many of you are relying on the news or what you've heard from others as your source of information regarding the flu. The major problem with this is that the media is all about sensationalism, and most other people are doing the same as you. Its like one big telephone game. The truth gets more and more distorted every time. So what are you to do? Well, my suggestion is research it. Go talk to your doctor and get some info. Although that may be difficult as their offices are crammed with every nut job that has a sniffle and is sure they're H1N1 positive. So what's your next option? Try the Internet. In 45 minutes I found over 10 credible government, and health sites that separated fact from fiction regarding the swine flu. They also tell you what to look for, who's at risk for complications, and prevention tips. Honestly, there is information out there to be read.
Here is what I learned from these websites. 1) The H1N1 Flu is deadly only to those who have chronic health conditions (Heart or respiratory), or compromised immune systems (HIV, Cancer). The N1H1 flu MAY cause complications for Pregnant women, the elderly, and children 5 years and under. That is why they are in the high risk category. Does this mean they'll die if they get it? No, it only means they are more susceptible to developing complications than the average normal healthy person, and in some cases these complications can develop into something like numonia, which can be life threatening.
2) The symptoms of the H1N1 flu are the same as the regular mild flu, additionally some MAY experience vomiting or diarrhea. In fact the majority of H1N1 cases will be just like the mild flu.
3) And this is the most important. Since the discovery of the H1N1 virus, there have been 400 related deaths in the USA, compared to 36,000 attributed to the common flu. Yes people, MORE PEOPLE DIE FROM THE REGULAR FLU THAN THE H1N1 VIRUS. In fact every single death attributed to the H1N1 virus, was someone in the high risk group, or people with pre-existing health complications. The normal, healthy, human being will not die from the H1N1 virus. My father went in to his doctor last week thinking he had the H1N1 virus. The doctor's office was completely over run with people. His doctor was tired and frustrated. He told my dad, that since this whole panic, everyone thinks they have the virus. And he said the majority of them don't have it, and if they did, unless they have health conditions, there is nothing he can do for them. All you can do is THE SAME TREATMENT FOR THE REGULAR FLU!
So here are my suggestions for all this mess. 1) Do your research. Visit the government health site and see how ridiculous this panic has become. 2) Prevent contraction and spread of the disease, by washing your hands, not touching your face, and covering your mouth when you cough. 3) Don't freak out if you get sick. Unless your a high risk person, don't clog up the doctor's office and make it harder for others who legitimately need to be there.
Folks I apologize if I have come across a little abrasive over this. I can't help it though. I have really grown tired of the fear mongering and the stupidity of people, and the paranoia. Does this mean I'm anti immunization? No, I'm not. I think its a good thing. I think if you don't want to go through a nasty thing like the flu, why not? And I do believe its a good thing for those in the high risk category. Will I get the shot? No, for two reasons. First, if it's only a mild flu, I'm ok with that. I can handle it, and get through it, then life goes on. 2) There are numerous high risk people out there who need this vaccination to boost their protection. A perfectly healthy person like me, doesn't need to be holding them up in line. Will I immunize my son? Probably not, but if the flu spreads some more, I may take him in, just because he's in the high risk category. You never like to see a little guy like that suffer through any kind of sickness. My whole intention in this post is to just try and get those I know and care about to get informed. Quit feeding into the media fueled panic, and don't be afraid your going to die if you get sick. If your not in the high risk category, you'll be ok. Even if you do have H1N1, there is nothing that can be done other than the classic rest, fluids, and more rest cure.
To all of you, have a great, safe, and paranoid free flu season.