Flummoxed about the Flu

Thursday, July 23, 2009
I’m back! Seems I ate something that didn’t agree with my normally cast-iron stomach and my body decided to retaliate for a day or two. Combined with staff members in my office dropping like flies with everything from pneumonia, bronchitis, influenza, and other unknown illnesses, it’s got me thinking. The world is currently in the feverish grasp of the current flu pandemic (which, I feel, is debatable) and it seems that everyone around me is panicking.

It’s the media I blame. We’re being inundated day in, day out with the latest numbers of folks who’ve been diagnosed in our regions with H1N1. Every news report screams “pandemic”!!! And yesterday, there was news of a Canadian man who died from a “drug resistant” strain of the Swine Flu. The horror! The horror! Protect yourselves, save your children, sacrifice the elderly and infirm!!! Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch…but not much. Seriously folks, let’s all just calm down for a minute or two. For the most part, these reports are failing to inform the public that more people die each year of your standard run-of-the-mill flu. And what do you do when you get the flu? Rest. Stay home from work. Drink fluids. Get better. What is the “treatment” for this new flu? Hmmm, let’s see… Rest. Stay home from work. Drink fluids. Gee, imagine that.

All this hysteria for the flu? Sure, I admit that the elderly, sick, or young children should be extra careful because they’re the most at risk but it’s THE FLU! Chances are if you catch this “swine flu”, you would have caught any other flu regardless. People are panicking unnecessarily thanks to the media trying to scare the world into a mass hysteria where we all stock up on Tamiflu, drink the world dry of orange juice and no one goes into work. Yep, that should help the economy which, by the way, a lot of people aren’t quite as concerned about as they once were thanks to the possibility of dying… Don’t worry, I’m not going to start ranting about conspiracy theories but you know that’s what I’m thinking (hee hee).

If anything, this goes to show that people are just as disgusting as we always have been. Just because we have indoor plumbing and don’t wallow in our own filth anymore (except Torontonians at the moment…) doesn’t mean we’ve advanced as a species. You want to know a way to drastically cut down on catching the flu? Or a cold? Wash your hands. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Your mother told you to wash your hands as kid, remember? There was a reason. And if she didn’t…? Eeewwwww. Also, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue. Or your elbow. Or, if you must, your hand (but then go back and repeat the first step).

Now I’m not one of those people who promote the multitudes of anti-bacterial soaps, cleansers and other products. In fact, I don’t buy them. Although it is difficult sometimes to find a hand soap that ISN’T antibacterial. What most folks fail to realize is that not all bacteria is bad. If we’re not exposed to some of the bacteria and germs that are out there, we can’t build up an immunity or tolerance to them. Think of pets – it’s the same thing. Studies have shown that kids who are exposed to pets when they’re young (the kids not the pets) have fewer pet/dander allergies than kids who aren’t. If you don’t have any exposure to germs, bacteria, etc., when you do encounter them…you’re toast.

Disease is nature’s way of “culling the herd”; thinning out the masses when the population gets too big for the environment to support it. I’ve been saying for years that nature is going to find a way pretty soon to fight back. Perhaps even a final battle in the war for the planet. Disease, natural disaster… we’ve brought it on ourselves. If you DO happen to get the flu, consider you’re lucky that’s all nature decided to throw your way. Then go grab a tissue and some soap and stay away from me.


breehill said...

Concerned about H1N1 germs? I have a proactive tip that may help stop their spread. My daughter learned this great program at school called Germy Wormy Germ Smart. It teaches kids to understand how germs spread and how to NOT spread them. It was so much fun for her, and amazing how quickly the kids learned healthier hygiene habits! The website speaks for itself: www.germywormy.com

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