Monday, November 2, 2009

H1N1: Tensions Rise

Pandemic: a sudden outbreak that becomes very widespread and affects a whole region, a continent or the world.
It's fun to mock a rising pandemic especially when we don't really understand what's going on.  The media has created such a panic, but can you really blame them?  The World Health Organization announced a global pandemic and just the word makes it sound like we are going through a plague.  People are dying everywhere, oh my god, this is serious.  The fact is that more people die every year from the regular (and constantly mutating) influenza.  The difference?  We don't hear about it like we have heard about every single person that has died from H1N1.
Last week in Calgary I watched the steady throng of people race to the 1 of the 4 vaccination clinics set up in a city of over 1,000,000.  Tensions rose as these people waited in line ups upwards of 6 hours to get a shot that hasn't even been properly tested in Canada.  We raced to vaccinate our children, the elderly, the pregnant and any one with chronic illnesses but ended up running out of the vaccine because so many people that could have waited a few weeks were terrified and wanted to get it now.  And of course no one was turned away.  And these people were angry.  Come on, it was YOUR choice to stand in the line up.  No one said you HAD to get the vaccine.  But the media made it sound like if you contracted this virus, you were going to die.
The fact of the matter, like any other illness from influenza to the common cold, if you take care of yourself, practice good hygiene, eat properly, get enough sleep, your chances of becoming ill decrease.
I am not against vaccinations, but there is a time and a place and they should not be administered when not adequately tested. 

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