So. This blog entry will be all over the place, since its been awhile
It’s a hot topic, a hot lot, a hot load of -insert expletive statement of your choice here-. The pandemic flu. There’s some kind of ailment like this every year and, as the media tightens its grip on a populace dependent on technology to get through the minutia of their day, our own grip on reality loosens. Gone are the days of relying solely on the opinion you formulate for yourself. Relying on your gut is no longer an option — that sushi you ate from the supermarket is likely carrying MRSA and H1N1. Remember H5N1? No? Look it up. How about anthrax? Wait, how about H1N1 part 1 — in the 1970’s?
The incantation ‘Roll up your sleeve’ rolls around every once in awhile and usually, we obey. This is because as recently as 50 years ago, children were still suffering from polio, surviving meningitis but left in a vegetative state and dying from the measles. Vaccination is humankind’s greatest medical achievement. We have, for the moment, found a way to cheat death. Avoiding the flu today may land you at the bottom of a tsunami tomorrow, though, so tread carefully. In Western culture, the notion of death is equated quite simply with terror. We have built up our wall of e-toys and money so very high, and surrounded it all with medical science — all in an effort to reassure ourselves that we have all the power.
But disease is responsible for evolutionary advancement and for population control. It has brought us to the place we are today, not thinking twice about culling the herd. I have to consider that carefully, as Medicine was just recently responsible for saving the life of my child. I think. I feel that as a society, we are wholly uninformed on much of our lives and how we live them. Why is it necessary that only those in the medical profession should have all the knowledge? And when did the adage ‘knowledge is power’ change over to ‘money is power’? How many children can tell you who Marie Curie is; what she did or how she died compared to who Paris Hilton is — and why she went to jail?
The Fear is pervasive and all encompassing. It keeps us attached to the media, relying on their final word; keeps the self esteem of a woman in the gutter, so she will purchase products to better herself; keeps parents in the dark, so they will dutifully vaccinate their children against something that has yet to be proven successful — in fact, whose predecessor was so faulty, it killed and paralyzed its receptacles instead of saving them. Now that I have my own spawn, I can’t afford to be afraid anymore. Some new parents talk about how there are new fears they never had before but, for me, the experience has made me more aware. It has also completely changed my perspective on death. I am far more interested in protecting my own life for the sake of my daughter’s — which means I no longer want anyone else to make decisions for me. Including Medicine and the Media.
I don’t want to babble about this all day. There are tonnes of resources out there pertaining specifically to H1N1, and I encourage you to seek the facts for yourself. Don’t restrict yourself to the internet. Force your doctor to tell you what they know; read papers of both Liberal and Conservative persuasions and talk to nurses. Put together an actual opinion with your own wits, cough into your sleeve and rejoin the human race. I look forward to seeing you there.
p.s. more on Medicine saving my kid soon.