Barrelled Thoughts #21

Sunday, September 20, 2009

“Your doctor may give you swing flu this fall.

The CDC says health-care workers should be among the first in line to receive the swine-flue (H1N1) vaccine, which the government hopes will be available by mid-October. But will your doctors, nurses, and other medical providers roll up their sleeves? Only 45 percent of health-care workers get a seasonal flu shot every year, citing the same reasons for opting out that patients do: I’m healthy and don’t need it; I’m worried about side effects; I’m afraid of needles. M.D.s and R.N.s are better covered than other staffers, like lab techs and home health aides. But everyone needs to improve. The CDC has been campaigning to raise immunization rates among white-coat set for years. Already, seasonal flu kills 36,000 Americans annually. When swine flu starts surging, ask your provider: Did you get your shot?” — Claudia Kalb – Newsweek, August 24 & 31, 2009.

In all the years I’ve been on this earth, I have never used as much disinfectant as I have in the past 30 days.

Swine flu had been around since the first quarter of 2009, but not until a month after the official outbreak in Mexico did Taiwan receive its first case. An Australian physician, if I remember correctly. Everyone was talking about preventing this and preventing that; making it sound as if swine flu was running water and we could just turn off the valve to stop it. Taiwan, and many other countries, knew that it was impossible to prevent the arrival and eventual epidemic of H1N1; so why all the commotion?

When Adolf Hitler stepped off an airplane in Germany in 1939 and said, “There will be no war in Germany,” Germans cheered, and Americans laughed. Because Americans knew the truth.

Can you imagine if Taiwan’s CDC said, “We’re letting swine flu into the country because there’s nothing we can do about it anyways”? No matter how true that statement is, it would still spark massive unrest! That’s like Hitler openly admitting that he, his greed, and his twisted totalitarian logic, was solely to blame for the outbreak of World War II! Impossible. It was the Jews, it was the Americans and their capitalism, it was the French blah blah blah, I mean, come now, he even dragged the Pols into it.

The CDC’s negligence with regards to the spread of H1N1 in Taiwan is completely understandable. What were they supposed to do? Just admit there was nothing they could do and get bombarded by the public? Hell no. They did what anyone would’ve done; they promised the public that they were doing everything they could do, monitoring temperatures of incoming airline passengers and quarantining those who show the slightest signs of a fever. They did all of this knowing all too well that fever only shows as a symptom of swine flu a good two or three days after initial infection. But they couldn’t just tell the public, “Oh, sorry. There’s nothing we can do about incoming swine flu infection because it can not be detected at its early stages.” If they said that, they would arrive at ‘there’s nothing we can do’ and there would already have been shoes thrown at them.

So what they did instead was to tell everyone that they were implementing these measures, and that if anyone got H1N1, the government was would not to be held responsible. Very smart if you ask me. They had to passively let the people of Taiwan know that they couldn’t keep using the government as a fall-back policy, and that they need to fend for themselves. It’s a good way of getting everyone moving, because in the constant surge of globalisation, there’s nothing that can stop oink flu. It’s going everywhere, and it’s going to infect everyone sooner or later.

Now that H1N1 has broken out full force, schools, offices, malls and other publics areas are self-implementing hygiene policies, urging people to sanitise and wear masks. In my class, I have a scaled down version of the hygiene goddess (if there is such a thing), her name is Katherine and she has a bottle of alcohol disinfectant in her left hand and wet-wipes in her right. I picked up the habit of spraying, from my hands (every few minutes), to anything that touches the floor. Pens, pencils, bottles, worksheets, test papers…Times like these, I’m glad I have someone with OCD in my class.

The government predicts that by mid-October, they will have vaccines ready for use. The only problem? Mid-October is two weeks after H1N1 is supposed to surge.
At least we have better health-care than America. JSF.


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