You know, I had absolutely no idea how to begin this post.
I wrote the title, then sat here and stared at a blank screen for nearly 15 minutes before giving up and saving the entry (aka: nothing). I opened it again today to try and write it, but I couldn’t think of a creative way to begin an entry about a subject that has been completely monopolizing the media for months on end. Swine flu this, H1N1 that.
We always seem to follow the same cycle: people get sick, the media splashes it all over every format possible, we panic, life goes on, we forget. Repeat for new illness.
Remember SARS? The epidemic we thought would never leave and would permanently change the face of Toronto’s tourism industry? I’m guessing that you probably just nodded your head and thought something along the lines of, “Oh yeah… I forgot about that!”
I think a lot of people have. Its the cycle, and it’s been six years since the SARS outbreak. Have you been to Toronto recently? It suffered a bit of a blow for a while, but it’s still the same, bustling, vibrant city we know and love. Besides, we have the swine to whine about now.
I will say this though, I believe that some positives have come out of all this hype… people are learning about the importance of washing their hands properly and often and are making good use of hand sanitizer! I hear teachers and parents preaching at their students / children about coughing into elbows instead of hands, so maybe by the end of this some personal improvements will have been made!
Anyhoo. Back to business.
Last month the death of Evan Frustaglio, a healthy, 13-year-old hockey player from the GTA who contracted the flu over a weekend, rocked Ontario’s sense of security where H1N1 is involved. Shortly thereafter the vaccination was introduced and for a time people were in an absolute frenzy to be the first in line to get their shot. I was working the first day the clinics opened, and was listening to the vaccination updates on the radio over the course of the morning. Though they were open from 8am until 8pm, by 2:30 they were turning people away because the lines were too long. Let me clarify–that’s six and half hours in advance. Holy mother of pearl.
Things seem to have tapered off a bit since–they’ve opened the clinics to everyone (at first it was just priority groups) and the rush to get your arm poked seems to have dwindled.
So here’s the thing: I’m completely on the fence about it. I’m sure there are benefits to having it done–you know, like the whole not dying from it part–but I’m still really leery. With videos like this floating around facebook, what’s a girl to think?
See what I mean? I know it wasn’t the H1N1 shot, but still. *sigh*
And then there was the whole recall in Ottawa due to several adverse allergic reactions to the vaccination… now I realize that a reaction like that is a one-in-a-million chance, but still. It’s something to consider.
I know being vaccinated for H1N1 is probably a good thing, but I guess I’m concerned that it’s still so… new. I’m also not someone who is prone to get the flu–I think I’ve had it once in the past 10 years–so I’m not in a huge rush. The Hubster also makes me take vitamins so I pretend I’m immune. :)
So what do YOU think? Are you getting the H1N1 vaccine?
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