Friday Question of the Day

Mrs. Hooks Kisses A Pig !!, originally uploaded by RIPizzo.


Here’s a bit of a random Friday Question of the Day but since I’ve been hearing a bunch of news stories about it, I’ve been wondering if folks have been thinking about the threat of swine flu or H1N1 supposedly coming in full force this Fall. My question is rather simple – are you concerned about it? Will you change any of your behaviors, ie avoiding going to crowded places? Are you going to get vaccinated as soon as that becomes a viable option? Or are you not thinking about it and will react when/if it hits DC in the coming months?

A bit of a dark FQoTD but I’m curious how folks feel…

39 Comment

  • saf

    I’m not TOO worried, but I will be getting vaccinated this year, if possible. (I have a thyroid condition that, according to my endocrinologist, makes me slightly more vulnerable.)

    Then again, I remember the last time the world was convinced we were all going to die of swine flu. Didn’t happen then either.

  • Is it bad that I want the regular flu so I’ll be forced to take a week off from work?

  • It is actually a different strain that will be most prominent in this year’s fall Flu season. The only reason why they are making such a big push for people to get vaccinated is unlike previous flu seasons it seems to be more prevalent in teens to young adults because of the expose the older generations have had to this particular strain. The overwhelming truth to this year’s expected casualties will be mild flu cases, however still somewhat affecting the economy, etc. It won’t be dealing with deaths unless you are older/ immune system is compromised. You should still seek to receive a flu shot this season, so that you can avoid any risk of getting sick.

  • Anyone who confidently predicts the course of an influenza epidemic doesn’t know much about the flu.

    The flu virus is notorious for its ability to rapidly mutate, recombine, and evolve. The H1N1 cases we’ve seen to date have generally been mild; that’s no guarantee that it will STAY mild.

    Since there hasn’t been an H1N1 epidemic for decades, most people don’t have any immunity. If we luck out, and the virus continues to kill relatively few of the people it infects, great! But there’s no guarantee of such a happy outcome.

    This is a classic case of human intuition utterly failing in an unfamiliar environment. When facing some question in an unfamiliar problem domain, and where your brain doesn’t really have any evolutionary experience to fall back on, your best bet is to get advice from people who actually ARE experts, rather than going with some baseless “gut feel” that may be wildly wrong. So, I’ll be paying attention to what the CDC has to say on this issue. What the average Joe on the street thinks? Not so much.

    To answer PoP’s question: yeah, I’ll be getting the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines, when they become available, per the CDC’s recommendation. And washing my hands every time I get home. And moving briskly away from anyone rude/clueless enough not to cover their cough on the Metro. And probably making sure I have a little extra non-perishable food in the cupboard in case things go really pear-shaped.

  • Work has mandated that we all get the H1N1 vaccine – I’m getting mine next week. I probably would not if it were up to me as I think it’s a bunch of hype, but at least they’re splitting up the days between the regular flu shot [that I had today] and the ‘oink oink’ shot I get next week.

  • i will be buying more bacon, pork ribs, and sausages, and at reduced prices.

  • The area formerly known as BUMFEST has been dismantled…. just an FYI

  • We’re all going to die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bumfest is gone? Now there’s some real news.

  • Absolutely 100 percent scare tactics to drive up vaccine sales. Nothing more. Don’t expect the virus to have that much of an impact with the exception of tv ratings and increased vaccine sales.

  • Although I’m not very concerned, I will be getting both vaccines.


  • Increased vaccine sales… we need universal health care. There will be less fear mongering if we had universal health care, because the mass hysteria will create excess demand for health services causing the government to spend more than they want, which will lead to rationing.

  • Last night at approximately 1:50pm, Fourth District officers were dispatched to the 1300 block of Shepherd St NW with a notification from the departments Shot Spotter for the sound of a single gunshot. Officers investigation revealed that a male victim and another subject were walking south in the 3900 block of 14th St NW. They reported that a subject ran from around the corner from the 1300 block of Randolph St NW and yelled something in Spanish and fired a single gunshot which struck the complainant in the chest area. The suspect fled east in the 1300 block of Randolph St NW. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment where he was admitted in serious but stable condition. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 20-21 yrs, 5’8-5’9, light complex thin build, last seen wearing a blue shirt. If anyone has any information regarding this crime please call 727-9099 or 911.

  • I’m a meeting planner and have been doing a series on pandemic flu for years. I can tell you that the experts are worried, and that worries me. As a meeting planner we’re worried too – hotels have taken a beating. Imagine if no one wants to or can travel because of a pandemic. I’m worried both from the economic and health standpoints.

    Wash your hands. Stay home if you are sick. Wipe down door knobs and your desk with disinfectant wipes periodically. All the basic stuff we’re supposed to do during flu season anyway will go a long way.

  • Outside of getting vaccinated, what steps are left to take?

    I for one plan on stocking up on everything, Y2K style. Good luck buying toilet paper around my neighborhood, suckers.

  • Damn. Sorry, Stubs. Should have read your full post. But outside of those things and vaccination, that is about all we can do right?

  • I work in a homeless shelter, so the thought has crossed my mind. You never know what’s floating around in here. But on the whole I’m not much more worried than usual. (…as long as we get our flu shots!)

  • We’tre gonna get THE flu, we’ll stay at home and watch bad tv for a few days, and we’ll be back to normal heqalth sh0ortly thereafter… in the meantime, you’ll be the misfit who contracted the H1N1 and will be boradcast nationally. I’m sick of the hype.

  • The first step obviously is to STOP KISSING PIGS!

  • When the swine flu broke out the first time, I caught strep throat and a severe flu like virus that had me in the emergency room with a 103 temp and out of work for a week and a half. You better believe that I’ll be getting that vaccine as soon as it’s available.

  • I’ve never had a flu vaccine in my life, and I don’t plan to start now. I don’t take public transportation ever (with the exception of planes, which are certainly germ incubators, but a little vitamin C, AirBorn and Purell should take care of that), I’m vigilant against people who come to work sick (er, back in the job-having days… I would notoriously send people home who came to work sick – keep that sh*t away from me). I’m just not really worried about it, especially since I’ve already been exposed in fairly close proximity – shared a house with one person – a couple of times. If I didn’t get it then, I think I’ll probably be fine. I’m just not around the general public enough to worry about it.

  • I had the Schwien Brauten last night at Cafe Mozart. At least I am trying to make a difference.

  • Jimmy D – the other recommendation is to cough or sneeze into your elbow. No one shakes hands with an elbow…

    For those getting the vaccination – you have to get both the regular flu vaccination AND the H1N1 vaccination. My office if offering the regular flu for free, but they don’t have access to the H1N1 shot. They’re two totally different things, so the one won’t help you fight the other.

  • I will have access to the regular flu shot because of the nature of my internship. I’m not sure on the H1N1 route yet, but because my job will put me in contact with the general public in museums every day I work, I may get the vaccine if it is available to me free. If not, I’ll tough it out.

    From my understanding, the CDC is preparing itself for the virus to do its pandemic thing even though it doesn’t think that it will mutate. It hasn’t been any more deadly than the normal flu and considering I don’t have any health issues that would make me more vulnerable, I won’t concern myself about it until the CDC and WHO tell me that things are getting worse. No use worrying or panicking until there’s a reason to do so!

  • How can a work place REQUIRE a vaccine? My HR folks are a bit off their rocker on this one, but I think they would draw the line at requiring anyone to take medication. Unless you are a hospital or doctor’s office worker, it seems like this would be against some law.

    Eat healthy, wash your hands, stay home if you are sick and for God’s sake (and teh rest of us) cover your mouth and nose if you sneeze or cough!

  • Have plenty of hand sanitizer on hand, safety is an understandable concern, lest there is replays of previous pandemics, like 1918, of possible worst case scenarios, as Stephen King’s “The Stand” represents, though fiction, as a point.

  • I’m mostly concerned about my child. I had the flu once. The real deal, influenza. I rationally and sincerely believed I might die. What pisses me off is people who think flu is like a nasty cold, or who come to work with the sniffles complaining that they have flu. While I’m not afraid that my child could contract H1N1 and die of it, I do NOT want her to go through that particular 7-10 days of pure painful hell.

    So yes, my kid will be getting any vaccines that are offered. My husband is also priority, as he works in a school. Me, I don’t know if supplies will extend to me. But if I can, I will.

  • I am cognizant, shy of concerned, definitely not “worried”. Hell, I’m laughing at the posters my boss (Uncle Sam) has put up in the bathroom. We are getting the telework sitch together.

    I have had 2 flu shots that put me on my ass for a week. I don’t see the point.

  • WDC~ my mom had the 1965 strain. She was seriously ill. John Barry’s book on 1918 is worth a read.

    I took a look at dates on the family tree. I have a gggaunt who died in 1918 at age 27 (not childbirth). She died in Owensboro, KY which was near the Louisville outbreak.

  • My kid started school this week, and I fully expect something to come home from the petri dish. I’ll try to get the family vaccinated, but the whole “wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough” doesn’t come easy to 4-year-olds.

  • I think I have a healthy and realistic fear of the _regular_ flu. Having had it once, I definitely get vaccinated every year.

    Am I more scared of this particular strain? Only because it hasn’t been around and as was mentioned, there is very little natural immunity based on previous exposure. Will I get the H1N1 vaccine when it’s here? Unless my research gives me some reason to believe it’s fundamentally different from the seasonal flu vaccine in terms of safety and side effects.

    Pet peeve? People who call things “flu” when it’s not _influenza_. If it’s a bad cold, it’s not flu. If it’s a stomach virus, it’s not flu. If you’re not flat on your back for at least a few days and nothing short of early treatment with antivirals (Tamiflu) is of any help, then it’s not flu. I do find that many folks who have never had influenza seem nonplussed about getting the vaccine.

  • oh, and if you were “flat on your ass” from a seasonal flu vaccine then you encountered one of three situations:

    – you received a live-vaccine shot (used many years ago, before the dead-virus shots were invented).

    – you received the live-virus (but low dose) nasal spray FluMist and were one of the small percentage of people whose immune systems were weak enough for the virus to take hold

    – you were one of those unfortunate folks who had already been exposed to flu (or another flu-like virus) before you got the vaccine – it happens. getting the vaccine after exposure doesn’t do a damned thing.

    But dead vaccine flu shots don’t cause the flu. Dead viruses don’t replicate – they can’t. Scientific fact. I know that doesn’t help placate people who experienced flu they got from live-vaccine shots, but it’s true.

  • Do your research before having your kids vaccinated regarding autism.

  • @Anon 2:09 – Spreading misinformation about vaccines is really irresponsible. The science is conclusive that vaccines don

  • Good grief…I guess it was only a matter of time before the vaccine=autism loonies showed up.

    Oh, and jobs that may require H1N1 vaccines are many military, law enforcement, first responders, emergency preparedness, emergency medical personnel and alike.

  • Silly and stupid, a record for overhype. someone sneezed and cable news caught pneumonia. it is the flu. no big deal. that being said, it is a fantastic reason to avoid being around other people. sign me up.

  • You don’t have to worry about eating pork products that’s not how you get it. The pigs aren’t the issue, the issue is that the virus is now active in the human population. It will basically be a potential awful flu season with up to three times the amount of regular flu season deaths, around 90,000-100,000. I’m not in school and I don’t ride the metro every day so I’m not going to bother with a vaccine but at-risk populations definitely should. Can you imagine what this will do to the beer pong and flip cup scenes at colleges? Decimated.

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