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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I know it's not called Swine Flu anymore but I still have a few questions

Running an infirmary here with two home from school. Non-stop laundry and running up and down the stirs with juice, soup and the thermometer. Number One has been home sick since going on a three day trip with his class. Twelve boys all sleeping together in a dorm, up all night and out in the rain all day. Even my never-gets-sick kid got sick. Called the school to say he wasn’t coming, gave them the symptoms and asked how many others were out and with what? Secretary who is not my favourite person at the best of times was “too busy to check the voicemail for that stuff.” Right, then why do you bother asking? Wouldn't it help those who are trying to get a handle on this thing to know and isn't that why they asked you to ask us? Heard through the grapevine that eight are home.

Then turned on the news and heard about a 13 year old boy who died yesterday in Toronto from H1N1, couldn’t change the channel fast enough for Number One not to see it. He had to play hockey last night as he is the only goalie on his team (don't ask). Everyone knew he was sick and now I am getting emails from other parents asking if it is H1N1? Called the doctor’s office - busy signal. Who the hell has a busy signal these days?!? Our doctor had recommended the boys getting the H1N1 shot once it was available - in November. Right, a little late now, it seems. Oh yeah and my brother-in-law was down in Boston last weekend playing hockey with a bunch of guys, three of whom have been diagnosed with H1N1 (at least they were actually tested). He wasn't tested and has no symptoms other than a sore throat but was put on Tamaflu and is supposed to wash his hands before holding his nine week old son.

An older lady I was talking to was also put on Tamaflu after her doctor told her (without testing) that she probably had it. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to any of this. I thought we had learned from the SARS outbreak in 2003? I thought the government had a plan for the next pandemic?

Sorry if this is all a little scattered but WTF am I supposed to think? They don’t seem to want to test anyone to see if they have it until after they are in the hospital or dead and I am sure as hell not taking my kids into emerg to find out if they have it. Where have all these statistics that the media keeps dropping come from if they really don't know who has it, who has recovered and who never had it in the first place?

And who is high risk? 13 year old hockey players, 42 year old woman, babies whose father's play hockey? I watched the news last night and saw the line ups in the U.S. for the shot and reports that there isn't enough for everyone who wants it. In Canada, our self-satisfied government is patting itself on the back and saying there is enough for everyone. Right, we have a population of 12 million in Ontario alone and they have 722,000 doses right now and another million coming next week. Even with my pathetic math skills that doesn't add up.

I am not an alarmist. We have never had the flu shot and my boys rarely get sick and when they do it only last hours (usually the wee small ones) and then I tell them to suck it up and go to school but this is utter chaos. You know, the kind in the movies, "Cats and dogs living togther, mass hysteria." And I know the doctors and researchers don't have all the answers but I wish they had one that I could tell my sons about why a 13 year old hockey player died 48 hours after getting the flu and why it won't happen to them.


  1. You must be in a panic. I would be if my kids were sick right now. And, yes, it’s all very confusing but I’ve decided to get vaccinated whenever (and if ever) it’s available. I’ve also given my boys my “advice” as to getting the vaccine – they’re at that at-risk-of- complications from H1N1 age group.
    Scary stuff, indeed.
    Hope your boys are better ASAP.

  2. They knew last year that this shit was going to be bad! That is why they were making a big deal about it with so few cases! Just another breeched levee in our viral storm defense!


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