I work in health research, so of course the media spectacle of H1N1 has caught my eye. Just today, here are some of my favourite stories:
fist bump" in order to prevent the flu. Yes, that's right, he wants to replace the handshake with the fist bump. Some pros that I see are that you won't be judged by the firmness of your handshake, you don't have to worry about sweaty palms, and of course, you won't have to worry about where that hand has been. Sure, it might look ridiculous at first, but it might just revolutionize the greeting!
Secondly, I would now like to call it the turkey flu instead of the swine flu with the news that a heard of turkeys (yes, I'm sure it isn't called that but I just don't care) has been infected with H1N1. Don't worry, these Ontario turkeys pose minimal risk, but I would have loved to see the pandemonium if this had happened before Thanksgiving!
Health Canada has now approved the H1N1/swine flu/turkey flu vaccine for use here. The trials of the vaccine just started this week, the results won't be available until next year, but don't you worry, the vaccine is available! (yes it is likely safe, but what we don't know is whether or not it is really effective)
Am I afraid of the dreaded swine flu? Not really. It is the flu. I will not lose sleep over a virus (well, unless it is ebola of course). If I get it, well, that really sucks. No one wants the flu and I hate getting sick. But I will NOT get all paranoid over this flu or any other flu. I think the paranoia might be classified as a pandemic rather than the actual disease...
That being said, will I get the vaccination? Probably. So far, most of the people who have had serious issues with this flu in Canada are young, female, otherwise healthy, and aboriginal. The only one of those things I'm not is aboriginal. Plus, I have asthma and apparently this particular flu is pretty hard on your respiratory system (as are most flus, but this one is especially bad).
What else will I be doing? Well, I'll be paying more attention to hand washing and hand sanitizing. Also, I'll be more careful about touching my face when I've been in public places.
How do you all feel about the H1N1 media storm? Are you afraid of the flu? Do you plan on getting vaccinated?