Flu, flu, what to do??
Okay, a show of hands: How many of you have not had at least one conversation about the flu, flu shots, illness, hand-washing, or something related in the past week?
That’s what I thought. (You over there, you can put your hand down.)
In mommydom, it seems to come up with not-so-startling regularity. Catholic churches are taking the common cup away from the people, churches of all stripes are stopping handholding at whatever part of the service it might have happened, kids are being kept out of school, anti-bacterial hand goo is being used like it’s out of style (too bad it doesn’t really work anyway…)…I even had a conversation with my church choir advocating Common Sense Stuff–like, if you’re feeling like you’re coming down with something, please don’t suck it up and come to practice anyway. If you live with someone who’s sick, even if you’re fine so far, please consider a smile and a nod at the sign of peace rather than shaking hands. Wash hands often. Drink water and get enough sleep to keep your immunity up. All that usual stuff.
And then there’s the vaccine. I must have been asked a dozen times in the past week, “Are you getting The Vaccine?” (You can hear the capital letters.) And its follow up question, “Do you usually get a flu shot?”
(No and no, by the way.)
The other day I found this article from The Atlantic–it has that certain air of non-hyped straightforwardness that I find so refreshing in the media on those rare occasions I encounter it. On the other hand…it presents some startling statistics about flu vaccines in general and the public’s reliance on them.
It’s fairly long, but worth reading all three pages of. Obviously, as I always say, pay attention, do your own research, and make your own choice–that’s all any of us can do.
And eat well. Stay hydrated. Wash your hands a lot. Get enough sleep. Do what you can.
Drive too fast along Red Lion Road, beside Philadelphia’s Northeast Airport, and you will miss the low-rise cement building where the biotech company MedImmune has been quietly pumping out swine flu vaccine at about a million doses a week. …
Vaccination is central to the government’s plan for preventing deaths from swine flu…But what if everything we think we know about fighting influenza is wrong? What if flu vaccines do not protect people from dying—particularly the elderly, who account for 90 percent of deaths from seasonal flu? And what if the expensive antiviral drugs that the government has stockpiled over the past few years also have little, if any, power to reduce the number of people who die or are hospitalized?… (click here for full article)