Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Is H1N1 Worthy of the Hype?


I feel qualified to answer this question because as this is being posted, I am on Day 4 of this flu. In many ways, it’s like any other flu. There’s a fever, sore throat (that soon develops into a nasty, wet cough) and muscle aches.

After the first two days, it doesn’t feel as severe as it did during those initial 24 hours, but it also doesn’t seem to let up. I had Mono once in high school and this flu reminds me of Mono because I’m tired all the time. If I fold a load of laundry I have to rest afterward. If I write a paragraph I have to rest afterward. This blog post will set me back days!

My son also has H1N1. (That's him dressed as Swine Flu Indiana Jones) He was diagnosed on Halloween and the doc said, “No trick-or-treating for him.” Yeah right. I could not do that to the kid. He’s a six-year-old boy. Running around taking handouts of free candy is his idea of heaven. How could I deny him? I didn’t. I made him wear a mask, had my husband ring the doorbell and collect the candy, and refused to let him near another human being. Did he still have fun? Heck, yes! He got 80 pieces of candy and told me it was the best Halloween ever!

I think the media has spun this illness beyond the bounds of reality. I know adults and children alike have lost their lives from this flu and that others have had some major scares (the children of two friends had fevers reaching 104 degrees. That’s scary!), but is this flu really worse than other strains? Does the fear do us any good?

Perhaps I’ll answer my own question by saying that our public school phoned last week with a recorded message detailing exactly how our children should be washing their hands (warm water and soap – can you imagine?). I had my son listen. Afterwards, he went into the bathroom and followed the recording’s steps. When he emerged, he proclaimed, “Now when I pick my nose my boogies taste like lemon.”

And that’s how he got H1N1! Anyone out there had it? Do you think it’s worth the hype?

16 comments:

ЯСупер said...

Number of H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemy cases grows (already more than 30,000 deaths worldwide) and you or one of your family could have this fatal disease. If you want to protect yourself and your family, friends, colleagues - bookmark the address - http://b23.ru/slfc - and send it to all who you know, may be so you save their lives. This is a list of social emergency medicines that can be used against Swine Flu H1N1.

ЯСупер said...

Number of H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemy cases grows (already more than 30,000 deaths worldwide) and you or one of your family could have this fatal disease. If you want to protect yourself and your family, friends, colleagues - bookmark the address - http://b23.ru/slfc - and send it to all who you know, may be so you save their lives. This is a list of social emergency medicines that can be used against Swine Flu H1N1.

Paul Lamb said...

Hype? No. Informed caution and preparedness? Yes! The problem with H1N1 is that it is a new virus, and no one could predict how it would behave in the population. Nor could anyone predict the severity of it. The government agencies gave prudent warnings and guidance about it. It was the media and certain "personalities" who hyped it into a hysteria. (And what is the real agenda of those "personalities"?)

There have been deaths from this disease, and if we all weren't being so cautious now, there could have been many more.

Alan Orloff said...

I think H1N1 swept thru my family toward the beginning of the curve. I was super-tired, like you described, but for some reason, I never got a fever. The fatigue lasted for about 5 days (off and on--it was weird), then I got congested and coughed for a couple more days. All in all, fairly mild. It was mild for the rest of the family too. Of course, not everyone is/was so lucky.

Lisa Bork said...

JB - Sorry to hear H1N1 hit your house. Hope you all feel better soon.

H1N1 has been getting a lot of media play, too much, I think. Last year it was the regular flu we heard about every day. Get your vaccination because this illness could be deadly; oh no, wait, you can't get your vaccination, we don't have enough. Same thing with H1N1. A child did die in our area last week of H1N1, but, because of HIPPA, no details were released. Impossible to know if other issues were involved. All the reports makes people nervous, particularly children. We just keep telling ours to wash their hands. That's all you really can do. Well, and maybe keep your fingers out of your nose :)

Jess Lourey said...

It's absolutely over-hyped by the media. Fear makes people respond quickly and fearfully. The majority of my community is choosing not to vaccinate against H1N1 (partly due to concerns about the newness of the vaccine, partly due to reports about the mysterious and permanent diseases that erupted in those vaccinated against the swine flu 30 years ago, and I'm betting partly because some just aren't paying attention).

Common sense goes a long way--stay home when you're sick, wash your hands frequently, don't put your hands in your mouth, eat healthy, get enough sleep.

JB, hope you all feel better soon. Your immune systems are going to be that much stronger for the experience.

Diane said...

We all were sick but no confirmed H1N1. For me it lasted a full week. :O)

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

I do believe there is too much hype connected to H1N1, but I also believe behind that hype is solid information that raises our awareness of how easy it is to pass along colds and flu of any kind. This year people who are sick seem to be much more considerate of others. Just look at the history of flu in this country. There was a time when hundreds of thousands died in one flu season. Education and awareness changed that. So if it's wrapped in hype, so be it.

LOVE the booger remark! I'm convinced if I stay away from kids and people with kids, I'll be fine.

Beth Groundwater said...

Great post, JB! I loved the swine flu Indiana Jones costume and your solution to allow your son to go trick-or-treating. Very creative, but I wouldn't expect anything less from a creative mystery author!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Geez, I posted a link to this discussion on Twitter and someone came down on me with both fists. People - read thoroughly before opening your mouth in criticism.

From FluWatcher2009:

@SueAnnJaffarian: The US CDC is reporting 2,067 US dead from H1N1 over 4 wks from 10/3 to 10/24. Is that "hype" in your mind?

@SueAnnJaffarian: Additionally, you and your son may not have had a bad case of H1N1, but a total of 4,039 US are dead from H1N1 since April

Tamika: said...

I haven't had it, no any relatives. My daughter has seasonal flu right now and that is draining enough.

I pray you start feeling better soon!

jbstanley said...

OH dear, Sue Ann! Sorry you caught the hot air. Don't give them my email, okay?

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Not to worry, JB. I knocked them lightly on their skull in a reply Twitter and took the bullet.

signlady217 said...

Definitely too much hype and not enough common sense! If you're sick, stay home and rest. And wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands! (I think this has become my new mantra!)

Jody said...

Yes, there's lots of hype. I believe everyone forgets that every year thousands do die from the flu. This year, we have both the seasonal flu and H1N1. I've had my shots. I have asthma so was able to get the H1N1 vaccine yesterday. Next year, H1N1 will be combined with the other flu strains in one vaccine according to my nurse. I just wish everyone would be cautious all the time - washing hands, covering coughs, staying home with a fever - to avoid spreading all illnesses!