Happiness is relative
That’s right; I feel fortunate. In fact, very fortunate. Why? Worldwide, this year’s flu season is a particularly nasty one and depending upon your authoritative source, with the flu shot being only 17% effective.
During the second half of January, I was laid up with a nasty upper respiratory virus infection. Commonly called a cold, I was very cautious, looking for signs that I can the flu, such as fever, nausea, and dizziness.
I took my temperature several times a day and didn’t once register an elevated temp. I did get my flu shot back in October, but frankly, I was worried I might be hospitalized.
I’m happy to say; I successfully steered clear of the flu. My cold did migrate to the early stages of bronchitis which I am still dealing with the aftereffects. My doctor fixed me up quite nicely. Thanks, Doc.
Still, I am astounded by the volume of stories and news reports regarding flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. Some are quite tragic, such as a healthy mother going to the ER and sent home a short time later with a flu diagnosis and appropriate medicines only to die a few hours later at home. 63 children have died from the flu. WTF?
In researching this article, I visited the CDC.gov websites related to the flu. I didn’t know that there are so many varieties of the virus out there. I thought that there were relatively few but each had multiple strains due to mutation. Was I ever wrong. Oh, my heavens.
The following numbers relate only to the United States. World-wide, the numbers are even more staggering. To keep it simple though, let’s just look at the 2017-18 flu season, beginning Oct 1, 2017, to Feb 3, 2018. In the past week alone 16,641 confirmed tested cases were documented, bringing the seasonal total to 666,493 cases using samples tested by clinical laboratories. Among public health agencies, add 1453 new incidents for the week and 27,667 for the year. In the state where I live, each week we break a new record for the number of confirmed cases.
The long and the short, I feel fortunate?
I wonder when the virus might let up. I wonder more whether this is just the beginning for the human species. Are we in for a long stint dealing with out of control viruses? I’m happy that what I caught was just a cold. Actually, I feel fortunate to only have caught a bad cold. These influenza statistics are just too unreal. Maybe I should rewrite my ‘Taste of Honey’ books to use the Flu as the catastrophic event rather than my fictional protein purge plague.