Uncategorized — September 22, 2009 at 10:37 pm

H1N1 is actually starting to scare me


I’m not very reactionary or easily worried. In fact, the whole H1N1 swine flu thing, to me, has been sort of a ho-hum deal. I really haven’t expected much to come of it. Something along the lines of the Y2K bug or something, I suppose.

Then the emails started to arrive this week.

Now I’m starting to get a leeeeetle bit worried.

The first one came from my brother-in-law in St. Louis. He has a toddler who has a very compromised immune system and is frequently sick. He and my wife’s sister are constantly dealing with this and that alone is pretty sad for her family. Two days ago he sent out this message:

Subject: Now it gets personal

Just as a heads up….we have been informed that someone in my office was diagnosed with H1N1….IT HAS ARRIVED….anywho…..they will not say who it was….I spoke with the boss and she says I haven’t had much contact with this person….I was just concerned in regards to [toddler’s name]………anyway…just a heads up.

Aw, crap. That is a bit too close to home, particularly with my wife’s niece in such a precarious health situation.

Later that day, I overheard a coworker talking about friends in another state who have members in their congregation that have it.

Jesus. This is starting to really seem like something to be worried about.

Then, the next day, one from my other sister-in-law who works for a private high school:

Subject: RE: Now it gets personal

We have two at our school. My friend, Maria says there is one at her son’s school. Let’s hope [toddler’s name] can get the vaccine when it comes out. Hang in there.

Now I’m really beginning to take this seriously. I have two kids in college, one living in a dorm. I work in close contact with nearly a hundred other people and I travel a lot for work, mostly by air. I’ve become acutely aware of the amount of coughing and sneezing I hear on planes these days (it’s a LOT!)

Let’s all take a bit of extra care, okay? Do all those silly things that the doctors (and our president) encourage us to do?

  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue and throw it away immediately after using it.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Wear a face mask if you are sick to protect others.
  • Wash your hands a LOT.
  • Stay the fuck home from work/school if you don’t feel well. Seriously. STAY. THE. FUCK. HOME.
  • Avoid sharing things and physical contact whenever possible.

Are ya with me? Helpful links and contact info:

  • CDC website
  • CDC info hotline: 1-800-CDC-INFO
  • Flu.gov
  • FluTracker website
  • WebMD website
  • Medline Plus website (a service of the U.S. Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health)
  • Symptoms:
    • Fever
    • Coughing and/or sore throat
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Headaches and/or body aches
    • Chills
    • Fatigue

    In addition to the above symptoms, a number of H1N1 (swine) flu cases reported:

    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea

Be careful out there.

I’m just sayin’…