Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Revisiting an Infection Connection

Flu shot It seems timely to mention an old entry about Influenza. In that entry from almost a year ago, I wrote mainly about the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, but Influenza is a growing concern at the moment. The CDC reports that 37 states have widespread flu activity; data show that we are not into seasonal flu yet, and that these are swine flu (H1N1) cases.

The first wave of H1N1 was relatively mild, but we're already seeing it get nastier on this go-round. Sadly, an 11-year-old girl died in our city last week of this strain of influenza. Some schools in our area are showing a 20% absentee rate. I don't see any reason to panic, but continue to be careful. You've all heard the precautions (And we should all be practicing them! My personal favorite is the Dracula Sneeze.), and there is plenty of information about symptoms, vaccinations, and generally all things flu at a great website called Flu.gov. I'll get my flu shot through Ken's workplace this year, although I have to admit I'm getting a little antsy about not having gotten it yet. There will be plenty available eventually, but initial demand was incredibly high. When the H1N1 shot becomes widely available, I will get that one, too. Now that I'm not working at the lab, I'm not in a high risk category anymore, so others should get it before me. I could probably stretch it since I have the beginnings of emphysema, but plenty are at higher risk than I am, so I'll wait my turn.

I don't see this becoming as lethal as the 1918 outbreak, because our preparedness is much higher than it was then. But that's the thing about viruses, and what I wrote about in my entry from a year ago...they can change so profoundly that they can take everyone by surprise. Stay cautious, and keep washing those hands! And if you were smart enough to buy stock in any company that makes hand sanitizer, you're probably feeling quite smug and pleased with yourself right about now, aren't you, Mr. and Ms. Smartypants?


Speaking of health, the Senate Committee Finance bill was voted on today, and passed 14-9, with Olympia Snowe of Maine being the lone Republican to vote for it. Hail, Olympia! (Joe Lieberman continues to show that he's not exactly sure what he thinks about things, or who he wants to be when he grows up, and voted no.) There is still plenty of work to be done, and I still want to see that public option as part of the mix, but I am encouraged. I'm also reading that there is a certain "air of inevitability" in Washington right now concerning this, with many feeling that there will be something passed this year. I feel it, too.

Oh, and did you hear about that Colorado baby who was initially denied coverage because he was over the top of the weight chart? In other words, they told his parents that he was "too fat." The father was pretty funny, saying something like hey, he's a baby...it's not like we can put him on the Atkins diet or on a treadmill. The insurance company quickly moved to rectify the situation, and the kid can get insurance now.

And people have the gall to talk about rationing under a health care reform bill, or a government bureaucrat coming between a doctor and their patient? Crackuh, please. Just what in the holy hell do you think insurance companies have been doing all these years? What a stupid argument.


Good Rush Bad Rush I don't like to write much about this gasbag, because I think it's a waste of space, but I found Rush Limbaugh's word association exercise in an interview broadcast on "The Today Show" an interesting one.

President Obama: "Disaster"
Michelle Obama: "Garden. Plants a garden out there."
Former President Jimmy Carter: "An utter disgrace and embarrassment."
Sarah Palin: "Misunderstood and underestimated."
Former President Bush: "Most decent, down-to-earth real man you'd ever hope to meet."
Glenn Beck: "Look what I have spawned. Glenn Beck to me is 'Right on, Daddy-O.' "
Hillary Clinton: "Nurse Ratchet."

I think a good psychologist (maybe I need to enlist my pal Dr. Will) would be able to read much into his responses. One of the most telling is his response to Michelle...the woman is a lawyer, a Princeton graduate, and all he can say is that she planted a garden? Could he be any more condescending and dismissive of such a strong woman? Hmm...Oedipal complex? Then there's Beck: "Look what I have spawned." Delusions of godhood and grandeur. Sarah Palin is “misunderstood and underestimated?” Well, that's just stupid, and quite possibly indicative of full-blown psychosis, but apparently he prefers empty-headed fluff who will see him as a conduit to a position of power and look up to him as some sort of father figure. The exact opposite of a strong, intelligent woman like Michelle Obama, or Hillary Clinton, which brings us to what is probably his most offensive remark here, comparing Secretary of State Clinton to Nurse Ratchet. The guy obviously has issues.

This kind of makes me feel good, though, because based on his opinion of the women mentioned in this, I'm reasonably certain that he would seriously dislike me. I'm cool with that.


Rahm Emanuel - Hottie To cleanse my palate after writing about that bloated bag o' foul wind, I'll mention Rahm Emanuel. I don't know all the details, but it seems that GQ magazine has picked him at the top of their list of influential people. I'm not sure if there is more to it (perhaps a sartorial element), but Rahm is #1! And still a hottie. We really aren't hearing much about Rahm these days, but I'm betting that he's working hard behind the scenes, kicking ass and taking names, not later, but right then so he knows that people know they're on his List. Keep being the Enforcer, Rahm, and do some of that on health care reform, how about it?


  1. I think there is a really good chance for getting a bill passed. As for "L", that is outrageous.

  2. I have been reading "The Given Day" recently -- Spanish Flu epidemic and all. Makes me think about going out and getting a flu shot for the first time ever.

  3. Rahm is hot, no doubt, but I truly expected him to have the Democrats [and some of the Republicans] more in line by this point.

    Nice info on influenza, thanks.

    I have to laugh at people claiming a public option would put bureaucrats in charge - like they haven't been for some time.

    I ignore RL whenever possible.

  4. "Sarah Palin is “misunderstood and underestimated?” Well, that's just stupid, and quite possibly indicative of full-blown psychosis".

    Oh darling, LOLZ all around for that one!!!!!!

    Rahm IS a hottie. And it's always been my experience that inserting a hottie into a blog post is a good way to get people to read said post. Keep up the good work... :)


  5. one of the teachers at my school has been out all week due to having a reaction to the regular flu shot and is on all kinds of steroids now.

    i think i am going to get one this year too, which will be the first time i have ever gotten it.


  6. Used to get the flu shot every year~then become ill thereafter. Haven't participated in several years for that reason.

  7. Now you are speaking about something you and I totally agree on.

  8. Rahm is a hottie. Yum. We have the xbox version guitar hero band thingy and I am sooooo addicted. You will love it! You are a hot brilliant chick! That is awesome that he noticed! LOL at all the pedia's... and Glenn Beck's pic of head explosion. LOVE it!

    be well...

  9. Got my flu shot, still hate Rush, still love Rahm. Does that cover everything? No time for more today. :-)

  10. Beth, I have to ignore Rush most of the time. His incoherent, ignorant banter disrupts my thinking.

    I agree. I don't think anyone needs to panic about the H1N1 flu virus. If people need to take precautions, because they are high risk, then do so. No need for hysteria though. That won't help anyone.

    Rahm Emanuel is a very good looking man. He can cleanse my palate any day of the week.

  11. I'm concerned for H1N1 since I have young children and my mom also has COPD and doesn't deal well when she gets very ill. I could also get the vaccine since I have asthma but as you said, I'll let other people who really need the protection get it before me. If I can get it for one or both of my kids, I will. I need to get into my doctor and get all of us the regular vaccine as well. A part of me feels like we should hide inside and avoid public places until this passes a little more in our area but the other part of me says that I'm not going to be held hostage in my house by a teeny tiny germ. Even if it's a really mean and powerful teeny tiny germ.
    I <3 Rahm!!!!!

  12. you already know that the flu is everywhere around me. Ugh.

    I hate Rush Limbaugh.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?