Friday, October 23, 2009

To Flu or Not to Flu

After seeming to disappear for a while, the swine flu has claimed its first victims around the country. In town, half the kids in school have been home sick this week; if they get symptoms they have to stay home for seven days, so how many actually has the flu is uncertain. The vaccines have arrived though, and those in the most vulnerable groups have started getting it, while it is recommended everyone get it as soon as possible.

I'm a little torn. On the one hand I hate being sick. I hate it so much I only do it once every couple of years. I'd do a lot to avoid getting sick. And if, in spite of my hatred, the virus picked me, I wouldn't want to make my whole family sick.

On the other hand, I feel everyone is overreacting. Keeping kids home for a week if they as much as cough, slaughtering pigs by the thousands, the media reporting every single death (9 so far) even though fewer die than from regular flu any other year.

People running around worried they'll get get it, quarantining everyone, arguing over vaccines. Add to that the fact that most people in other countries can't afford to buy it, and that they, the poorest in the world, are much more likely to die if they do get sick (whether it's this flu or not). Mix in a copious amount of solidarity, and you've got a pretty reluctant me.

I'm not sure what I'll decide to do if I have to make up my mind.

Which, incidentally, I might not have to. My sister is sick and coming home from school. The parents are driving a couple hours to pick her up and if she does have the flu, she'll be home for a week. Plenty of time to give it to the rest of us!

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