01 November 2009

Halloween and the flu

Well, I was wrong about my boys' plans :) T did indeed go trick or treating with his friends. They dressed as vampires and he went as a drug dealer with J's long coat. T said the area he was in was mostly 'old people' so he didn't want to say what he was dressed as and instead said he was goth. J didn't go trick or treating, instead he just hung out with his group of friends.

S and I stayed in and handed out candy, but we only had 43 kids come to the door. I think that's about the same as last year, but it seems like so few. I think most of them were in the mall. S and I were in the mall earlier in the day and there were holy craploads of people there. The flu shot clinic was running and the line went as far as I could see down the mall. In addition to that crowd there were little kids dressed up going against the flow of traffic, trick or treating in stores. I don't know how, but there should be a better way of doing that. The kids (and parents and strollers) were blocking the entrances to some stores while they waited for their candy. Not safe at all.

The flu clinic was truly ridiculous though. Alberta made the mistake of not screening people to get the N1H1 flu shot and the turnout was underestimated. The government told people to wait if you are generally healthy and let those who need the shot go first, but people turned out in droves to get their shot whether they were at risk or not. So far Alberta has given out 300,000 of their 600,000 shots. Yesterday they closed the clinics after being open for only a week because of the way things were handled. When they reopen the clinics they will take pregnant women, children 6mo-5yrs, people under 65 with health risks, and health care professionals. Kinda the way it should have been done at the outset, I think.

As for getting the shot myself, I'll skip it thanks. All the information coming in about H1N1 seems conflicting, but the people dying of it seem to be women from 20yrs - 60yrs with an underlying health concern (primarily diabetes, asthma, obesity, and high blood pressure). I fit in the age range nicely, but am generally healthy. My boys don't have health concerns either, neither does S, so we'll skip it.

In the paranoid corner of my mind I wonder if the governments have blown the concern for the N1H1 flu way out of proportion in order to turn our attention away from something else. I mean, it's the flu. People die from the flu regularly (according to Wikipedia, about 41,000 people a year in the USA alone). H1N1 has only caused around 5000 deaths globally. It's just not as serious as the Spanish Flu of 1918, even though they are similar strains of the same virus. So it makes me wonder: what else is the government doing while our attention is diverted?

1 comment:

Chantelle said...

The flu clinics have been the same here - way long lines with no pre-screening. They say that they're only going to give the shot to people who are high-risk, but they aren't asking people ahead of time. And everyone's so freaked out by the thought of the flu that they're standing in line anyways.

It said in the paper that some people were keeping a place in line for their kids. So one person in line translates to two or more shots!!!!

I'm not going to get the shot yet - I'm going to wait until after some of this brouhaha has settled down. I don't like to wait long in line. Plus I worry that there might be people who have the flu in the lines transmitting it to everyone around them.