Thursday, April 30, 2009
It was hard to find a picture to coordinate with a post about Swine Flu. This does the trick pretty well though, doesn't it? Swine flu is here in my neighborhood. The latest news says two University of Chicago employees have it. The U of C is just down the block and my husband works there. So there you have it. I've told him to wash his hands a lot.
I'm not personally all that scared. I know I'd live if I caught the flu but the last time I had a "real" flu, not just a nasty cold or GI bug, I was pretty sick for around two weeks and debilitated for around a month. I had to take two weeks off work which I never do (other than for vacation). Plus I had a headache that had me wondering if I could get a prescription for tylenol with codeine (and I cannot stand the side effects of codeine). I actually caught that flu while visiting family in Seattle. My younger son was the plague carrier and he spread it to me and my parents. Us "old folks" were actually pretty laid up. I had to fly home running a fever and with shaking chills. I'm sure my neighbors on the plane were just thrilled. My husband and older son didn't catch it. I wish I had their immune system.
Since I'm a doctor I wonder if I should be working but it seems silly to cancel since I don't see people with "physical" illnesses. My decision is to just go ahead with good handwashing. I might buy a thing of hand sanitizer (which in principle I think is unnecessary) just to be cautious.
In a perverse sort of way, I find all the Swine Flu news fascinating. When I was in high school I wanted to be an Epidemiologist and in college I nearly majored in Medical Microbiology. I once wrote a paper on Brucellosis (a cattle disease that used to infect non-pasteurized milk). I've also taken a lot of virology and bacteriology classes. So this is pretty exciting news to follow from a scientific angle. Not that I'm happy about loss of life and so forth but it is fascinating to read the news. I make a point of avoiding TV news.
I worry that if we have massive closures of schools and businesses will it affect our already pained economy. I wonder what I will do if my kids' schools shut down? Obviously stay home and try to entertain them I guess. Fortunately you can only get one kind of virus over a computer so there will always be games for them to play. I hope that there will be no more deaths, although they seem inevitable.But this too will pass. Anyone old enough to remember the Swine Flu scare back in the 70's? Much ado about nothing, wasn't it?
Well, I've just added one more post to the undoubtedly huge number of blog posts about the swine flu. But it was on my mind. And at least it got me writing again!