Sunday, October 18, 2009

Anyone Else Sick of the Swine Flu Panic?

Now, don't get me wrong. Any case of the flu can be devastating. Being knocked out is a pain - literally. But, as I read the articles, I fail to find much to be alarmist about. The swine flu has had less fatalities than normal seasonal flu. It's apparently really contagious (lots of people are getting it) and has caused fatalities in people seen as less likely with other flus (like teens and young adults), but overall it's been pretty mild from what I have been able to find.

So, why is it that we are so gung ho to go crazy? I'm a weird mom. I know it (and I'm sure you do if you read the blog often). I worry about things like child abduction (almost unheard of here), but can't get excited at the flu. And, we've recently had a brush with it. JujuBean's school just finished a week off due to swine flu cases. And several were in her room. On her last day before the impromptu vacation, half her class was absent with cold or flu-like symptoms. The teachers let me know when I picked her up, likely fearing I would go a bit over the edge. I just rather laughed it off and asked them to let me know if there would be school or not.

Later the same afternoon, JujuBean ended up spiking a 102.5 degree fever. So, I medicated her and watched. And waited. Her temp came down fine and she was happy and playing, so I worried no more. She had a wee sore throat and continued to have an up and down fever for a day or so and then her temp stabilized a little high, but not even enough to medicate. So, you may wonder what did I do? Well, here's what I didn't do:
  1. Quarantine: JujuBean continued to play with the other Beans, sleep in the same bedroom, take her meals with them. Better that they should all get it than that she should feel like she's done something wrong.
  2. Rush to Test: I figured there's nothing particularly that I will do differently if she has swine flu or not, so I'd rather keep her out of places where people who are really sick are going to have tests done...
  3. Worry: Much to TetaBean's chagrin, I only called to pediatrician the 2nd afternoon to make her feel better. The Ped confirmed my approach and we all went on with life. I find that worrying is likely only to make me sick, not get her better quicker.
  4. Search out every alarmist site on the net: I'm sure there are thousands of sites on the Internet dedicated to how scary swine flu is, I chose to simply check the medical ones and confirm my treatment jibes with the best known approach and went on.
  5. Have a Swine Flu party: Okay, this is a trend in the US that I think is silly and dangerous. It's one thing that my kid may or may not have it, it's another thing to knowingly TRY to make other people sick. That's what that is - sick.
  6. Take JujuBean around the world: Poor JujuBean was stuck at home for a number of days. She missed ballet practice and a fun school event. She was sad, but better not to spread the illness (whatever it was) by taking her out too soon.

I was very glad to see in the Jordan Times that the Ministry of Education has dialed back its school closings. I read an interesting article a couple of weeks ago about the lessons Mexico learned about what worked and what didn't. The highlights of what didn't work are:

  1. Travel bans
  2. School closures
  3. Overuse of antibiotics
  4. Flimsy paper masks

Yep, school closures is right here on the list of what wasn't effective. And do you know what was effective? I love this list, by the way:

  1. Public awareness (tell people what's going on)
  2. Rapid diagnosis, treatment, and quarantine
  3. Near-compulsive hand-washing

Yep, wash your hands folks. Constantly. Every few minutes. I'd even recommend (shudders and horrors I know) putting soap in the kitchen so that if mom gets sick everyone else doesn't follow suit. But that's just me...

Bottom line, it seems like I get an alarmist e-mail every day for or against swine flu vaccines and such. For the Beans, we won't be even considering them. I would never give my kids a vaccine that is untested on humans. And, I'm not huge on flu vaccines generally, so we'll be skipping those too. So, if you're sending MommaBean a message these days, please pick a topic other than swine flu. I, for one, am just plain fed up with the topic.

Happy Pickled Pigs' Feet!


At 10:46 PM , Anonymous KF said...

Pork rinds, anyone? My sons and I just returned from a very short US trip and we bought those, esp since he is reducing his carb intake. Enjoyed your views on the topic, esp vaccines.

At 7:15 AM , Blogger smilinggreenmom said...

Hooray! What a great post :) I am a mommy here in the US and wow, never heard of a flu party. Hmmm? The midwest is always last to catch on to trends. Anyway- I agree that I am getting rather tired of hearing all about it everywhere. It has had me in a tizzy for the last couple of months now and I have remained fearful and against the vaccine. We have chosen not to get it due to way too many concerns over it and we will be diligently washing hands, disinfecting and taking our Vitamins including our Vidazorb chewable probiotics every single day. Our kids even love their bellyboost (that is the kids one) and so I am glad that we can take precautions that we all feel good about! Thanks for the funny post :)
Tweet me if you want at smilinggreenmom!

At 8:29 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Thanks KF and smilinggreenmom for dropping in.KF, not a huge pork rind fan myself (what kind of Southerner am I? Don't like bacon or sausage either).

Smiling, I heard about the swine flu parties in an article, but maybe it's a New York thing (that's kind of always what I assume, teehee.)

At 4:32 AM , Blogger UmmFarouq said...

I think my son has it, judging from what I've read and seen regarding symptoms. It's life as usual 'round here, and I hope we all get through this Fall (strike that...really hot summerlike Fall) and winter season without many health issues.

Hugs to your clan.

At 6:55 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Umm F, you and me both! Maybe we can get together next week. I'll check Kinzi's availability as well...


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