Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: middle of nowhere
So far so good on the flu this year. We never got vaccinated growing up; it just wasn't something people did in our area. When I started working in healthcare it was required, and I've gotten it most years since. This year I did not-- I had a nagging respiratory virus this fall and they wouldn't vaccinate me because 'I was already sick' even though I felt fine-- but I had a runny nose and cough. Then when I tried to get the flu vaccine before the holidays, everywhere has run out and won't be getting more. Guess I'll take my chances this year. Area schools are reporting 50% absentee rate, so I suspect they will close for a week or so coming up. It's funny-- when they schedule a spring break that tends to shut down the spread of the late winter flu strain, but then people complain that school gets out too late in the spring, so the next year they won't schedule a spring break, then the flu and absences drag on into May, or they give up and close the school for a few days anyway and have to make it up. Just give everyone a week off in late February or early March and call it good. We can all use a break about then anyway. I work in a library (where everyone who is sick comes to get movies and books or dump their sick, feverish kids who were sent home from school when mom can't take off work to stay with them) and my husband teaches middle school, so we're both contaminated and surrounded by coughing little vectors of illness most of the year. You'd think I'd be immune by now. Hubby rarely gets sick, and when he does, he's over it in two days. I get it and it hangs on three weeks.
I do think the coronavirus is going to be a bigger deal than most think. Much of the world's economy and goods/supplies is tied to China, and right now, NOTHING is going out. Huge swathes of China are shut down indefinitely. Medical reports from people on the ground show a much different picture than the news/media is sharing. The Chinese response of quarantining tens of millions, rushing to build hospitals in days, etc. is very telling that this is no ordinary virus. It's more virulent and more serious than many think, and conventional pneumonia treatments don't help. The incubation period is long-- first they thought 10 days, then 14, now evidence is showing as long as 30 days, and you're capable of spreading it for much of that before you know you have it, the virus lives on surfaces at least a week, and the illness presents like the common cold at first, so people still go to work, school, etc. The medical establishment is bracing, especially as so much of our medical equipment and supplies are made in China, and they are hoarding it and not exporting, so supplies are already running low. I have some relatives who work in emergency medicine in parts of the country with high rates of international travel, and they are very worried. There is some evidence it may be a biologically-modified virus that 'escaped' containment, and that would account for the Chinese response. I don't know. It worries me. There's not much anyone can do about it, unfortunately. I'm usually not much of an alarmist, but this could be the 'perfect storm' and it wouldn't be a bad idea to stock up on some shelf-stable foods (rice, canned soups and fruits, dried beans, frozen meats) in case it becomes rampant in the US and quarantines are enforced. It happened in 1918 due to the Spanish Flu, and it can certainly happen again. Then, most people had stores of food in their homes. These days, most people don't, and grocery stores carry about 3 days worth of food. Better to be prepared and not need it, than to need it and be caught short.
Last edited by SilverMaple; 02-18-2020 at 11:20 AM.