Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday's Words for November 18, 2009

To get the shot, or not to get the shot: that is the question.

The Canadian government is providing to all who want it, free of charge, the vaccine for the H1N1 flu. I believe that it’s being made available to my neighbors in the United States as well.

In my area, the County Health Unit is administering the vaccine; with it being offered first to those deemed ‘priority cases’—that is to say those groups of people already identified as being at the highest risk to develop complications from this flu.

This group includes pregnant women, children from six months to five years of age, adults under the age of 65 with underlying medical conditions, and health care workers.

I’m in that third group – under 65 with underlying medical conditions.

My daughter, like a lot of people, is skeptical of this flu shot. Her feeling is that it was developed too quickly and not tested thoroughly enough.

From my understanding the flu vaccine used each year is different than the one from the year before; and actually, the medical-research establishment makes their best guess as to which strain of flu will be prevalent and manufacture the year’s vaccine based on that guess.

I’ve heard some rather strange comments about this particular ‘flu shot’. The strangest one, espoused by a woman of my daughter’s acquaintance, is that this vaccination is in fact the government’s secret master plan of execution – to get rid of the poor people.

On a daily basis, I deal with a lot of people. I never fully appreciate how intelligent most of my friends and associates are until I hear opinions like that.

There are some legitimate questions to ask about this ‘pandemic’. If you’re cynical, you might be of the opinion that the media of the world, frustrated when the supposedly imminent bird flu pandemic didn’t materialize a couple years back, jumped on the early reports of the swine flu (oh, sorry, politically correct this to use the term H1N1), making a mountain out of a molehill, as it were.

Some researchers claim this new strain of influenza doesn’t kill any more people than any other influenza has done in recent years. And yet we hear cases of previously perfectly healthy people being stricken, and dying, seemingly almost overnight from this flu—in our area a thirteen year old hockey player being the most notable. I cannot in all honesty recall a similar kind of instance in recent years with ‘normal’ flu strains.

There are others than my daughter who are suspicious of the speed with which this vaccine was developed. To me it seems as if there is a veil of fear – fear of government, fear of foreigners, fear of practically every darn thing – that has invaded human society of late. Thus, the ‘opinion’ I cited above about the government killing off the poor isn’t the only one out there that thinking, rational people are repeating. I really miss common sense.

Because of the Internet, people are communicating more than ever and learning more than ever all the time. Conversely, it has never been easier for baseless rumour and innuendo to spread as any idiot can, and does, have a web site supporting the most preposterous of claims.

One only has to look back to the history of the last century to understand what can happen if measures aren’t taken against this new strain of flu. In the years 1918-1919, the influenza pandemic killed between 20 and 40 million people worldwide.

The astute among you will scoff and say, well yes, but Morgan, that was before the days of modern medical science and flu shots.

And I ask, what difference does modern medicine make, if people refuse to be immunized?

To get the shot or not get the shot: it’s a decision everyone needs to make. I hope you choose as I have done, and get it.

Come to my virtual Christmas Party!
Details here:

No comments: