It happens every year about this time – the flu bug hits.
I am the fortunate one in the office that hasn’t succumb to the seasonal sickness.
It’s nothing new, the flu comes and goes every year. Some of us get it, others avoid it.
The only difference is these new strains of influenza are causing concern for a different age group, particularly as deaths occur.
It seems in the past, when an elderly person died from the flu it was too often chalked up to old age and possibly not taken as seriously. But now that this strain is hitting younger generations there appears to be more of a panic (in the media at least).
There have been five confirmed deaths in B.C. from the H1N1 strain of the flu so far. And that particular strain accounts for 80 per cent of all cases of the flu this season.
Everyone has their personal prevention methods, whether it’s constant hand washing, Cold FX, Echinacea or oil of oregano.
Personally, I am undecided in the yearly vaccination debate. I haven’t gotten a flu shot this year, but not because I don’t believe in them. I just haven’t. Maybe I just feel bulletproof, because truth be told, I very rarely get sick.
I often find myself scolded when I reveal that I don’t typically get the flu shot. I’ve been told that it is irresponsible, and that I contribute to the poor health of the community.
Hospitals in British Columbia have even introduced a new law this year, making it mandatory for those who have not had a flu shot to wear a surgical mask while near the patients.
Although the rule would force me to wear the unflattering and uncomfortable mask while in the hospital, I actually agree with the policy.
There are a lot of vulnerable immune systems in the hospitals, and I certainly wouldn’t want to jeopardize their health. The one time in my life when I did get the shot was when I was spending time with my sick grandfather.
British Columbia is facing a shortage in the flu vaccine this year, although the supply has not run out yet.
This suggests that even though vaccines are a bit on the controversial side, the public is still, for the most part, putting their faith in vaccinations’ ability to reduce the spread of illness — and that it outweighs the potential risks.