October 12, 2009

Swine Flu Disconnect

Justin Katz

Is it just me, or is there an odd disconnect with this swine flue thing? The White House human services secretary has been giving the vaccine a round of marketing, and I know that schools in Tiverton, at least, are offering it to students on the premises. Yet, our pediatrician doesn't recommend it (which is not to say that she recommends against it).

It's a bad bug, as Mark Hemingway attests, but as Hemingway also attests, it's hardly a beast more fearsome than many of us who've made it into adulthood have already experienced several times. We face such illnesses down and survive, appreciating what it means to be healthy and sick.

Personally, I can't shake the feeling that there's something more to this hysteria. Some model to prove or cultural impulse to change, and being conservative, once suspicious, I'm resistant.

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I think whether you should get it depends on whether or not you are in a high risk group. For many people, it may not be necessary. However, I, for example, am seven months pregnant and therefore H1N1 does pose a significant risk to both my baby and me. Therefore, I do plan to push to get it from my doctor as soon as it is available. The vaccine has been tested more thoroughly than most flu vaccines. I am no hypochondriac but I would rather not take an unecessary risk, particularly while pregnant.

Posted by: Tabetha at October 12, 2009 6:37 PM

"and being conservative, once suspicious, I'm resistant." I didn't know that the "once bitten, twice shy" rule applied to conservatives only.

If that's the case we may ascribe fear through paranoia as a natural consequence of (what passes for) conservatism, with a lead indicator being xenophobia.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at October 12, 2009 10:34 PM

OTL, once again you've managed to take up a lot of blog space and say, nothing.

Posted by: George at October 13, 2009 12:06 AM

OTL-grow up.You've been around too long to keep going to the standard buzzwords like xenophobia and racism-they are overused because leftists are often too lazy between the ears to look beyond the surface appearances of a person's position that differs from theirs.
What could xenophobia POSSIBLY have to do with flu shots?
I take them because I have several KNOWN risk factors,plus I hate having the flu.
OTOH,there have been a number of "new,revolutionary" drugs,like Avandia,Vioxx,and Resulin that have flat out killed a lot of the people they were supposed to help.
I came within a hair's btreadth of checking out because of a very good drug that was prescribed to me in too high a dosage for too long.It wasn't malpractice,just bad luck in my particular case.
The point being that xenophobia is a non sequitir in this discussion.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 13, 2009 6:32 AM

I think you are off base on this one. I don't think the swine flu response has been hysteria. The concern from public health officials about this virus has to do with it's potential, which is far greater than other types of viruses. There are no compulsory requirements for the vaccine. If you are concerned about the big brother grinning socialist government, you should know that government's compulsory vaccinations have been around since the 1800's. For example, an 1853 law required universal vaccination against smallpox in England and Wales, with fines levied on people who did not comply. Common contemporary U.S. vaccination policies require that children receive common vaccinations before entering school. Most other countries also have some compulsory vaccinations.

Posted by: David S at October 13, 2009 7:27 AM

george, you said nothing that deserves comment. Have someone read to you what follows, it might help.

joe, I was trying to point out that Justin's use of the phrase "once suspicious, I'm resistant" does not apply exclusively to conservatives. You seem to have missed that, which was the point of what I wrote. I know you have the intellectual capability to understand what I wrote, but you let your preconceptions about "Lefties" runaway with your understanding.

To conclude my comments, I said, "if that's the case", (notice the use of the conditional here) then we "may" ascribe paranoia (which is never far from suspicious resistance) to the group that claims resistance exclusively.

It is true that xenophobia and flu vaccine do not reside in the same bed, but that was what you chose to infer from my comments, and it's way off base.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at October 13, 2009 12:32 PM

"The concern from public health officials about this virus has to do with it's potential, which is far greater than other types of viruses."

Potential in what way, David S? My understanding is that this flu is no more deadly than the regular flu.

Posted by: Monique at October 13, 2009 9:50 PM

Because it is a virus that can pass from bird to swine to humans. Those types of viruses can be much deadlier to humans than bird flus. This flu is of the same sort as the Spanish Flu 1918.

Posted by: David S at October 14, 2009 7:10 AM
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