So, no one liked the last entry? No replies at all? Much like the old days of writing about Magic, I can never guess when I have done something really good and when I have not. I thought it was great and last night asked Wendy what she thought of it.
"It wasn't one of your better pieces."
I would write a Magic column that I thought was utterly brilliant and get ten emails the next day, more polite than effusive. I would write something that I struggled with and knew it wasn't my best effort and I would get seventy-five emails the next day and another twenty-five the day after that, all glowing with praise.
I just never know.
What does this have to do with Swine flu? Absolutely nothing! Just ranting I guess. I'll get back on track now.
I hate Doomsayers.
I have read in many places that Swine flu is actually less dangerous than the regular flu, and I have also read that Swine flu could be the next pandemic. I always choose to believe the more optimistic news about anything, and I am usually right. Luckily, I have a friend who works in pharmaceuticals and is always up on the latest info. He studies religiously and always has or can find the answer to any question I have about medicine. So, naturally, I turned to him for the real story.
"Is Swine flu more or less dangerous than the seasonal flu and should we get vaccinated?"
His response was both enlightening and hilarious.
"What you've heard is true: Pig flu is no more dangerous than the seasonal flu and, from what I've been reading, is actually less dangerous. The media, most likely in conjunction with the big pharmaceutical companies, have whipped the public into a frenzy. Fear equals more doses of vaccine being needed and more money in the pockets of big pharma.
Also, Tamiflu, prescribed to "treat" the flu, must be started within the first 48 hours of symptoms and, according to the package insert, shortens the duration of the flu by 24 hours. 24 HOURS? WHAT THE FUCK? Now, if the flu last between 5 and 14 days how is it possible to even determine that Tamiflu shortens the duration by 1 day??? With a range of 9 days in the duration of the flu, how could big pharma possibly make such a claim? How? How?? How??? I find such a claim spurious, at best. Plus, the cost is exorbitant and the side effects nasty. Go ahead, Google Tamiflu and read the product description. Another added "benefit" of Tamiflu is that it's supposed to alleviate flu symptoms. Well, so does Tylenol, cough medicine and tea with honey and lemon and they are far cheaper with comparatively mild side effects.
Okay, the flu sucks, no doubt, and it does claim lives every year. But, if people follow common sense precautions like coughing into your sleeve, washing your hands, avoid touching your nose, eyes, mouth or face until you've washed your hands, and staying home if you have flu-like symptoms, then there is no need for panic--do I sound like a public service announcement or what? Most people are sheep and will blindly swallow what the media pumps down their throats so they believe they MUST have both the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines or they're doomed.
Here's another fascinating tidbit: Both the current seasonal and H1N1 vaccines use what are called adjuvants. These allow the makers to accomplish the same thing using less of the required virus so their stock of available viruses can be used to make more vaccines which, again, means more money in their pockets. So, you might be asking, what's wrong with that? Sounds like a smart, prudent business practice.
Ever hear of Gulf War Syndrome? The adjuvant they used in the vaccines that were given to soldiers who developed GWS is called squalene--I'll let you look up squalene--and subsequent studies have all found a direct correlation between squalene and GWS. Not just one study, ALL OF THEM. Another adjuvant used is thimerisol which is derived from mercury and many people believe there is a direct link between thimerisol and autism. Both the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines being released onto the public contain squalene AND thimerisol. Now, squalene is used as a dietary supplement with no apparent negative effects. But, if you inject it versus ingesting it, all kinds of bad things can happen, as any research you do into squalene will show. Let's not forget, either, that the seasonal vaccine is a 'best guess" as to which strain will hit during the next flu season. Production for next year's flu vaccine will begin after the first of the year; otherwise, big pharma wouldn't have time to produce it. So, the strains of the flu virus in the vaccine are just a guess, it might give you mild flu-like symptoms all by itself, it contains adjuvants which themselves can make you seriously ill and, even if you get it, you can still get the flu. Sure, sign me up... (Baaaaa.)
Okay, that's plenty of info. Hope it helped. By the way, there was a seasonal vaccine clinic held here in M-bury (I forget where) a couple of weeks ago which made the news. It seems there was a frenzy of people all rushing to get the shot and they burned through a couple hundred doses in two and a half hours. A couple hundred doses usually lasts days or weeks. The news even mentioned people driving down from Canada just to get the shot. (Baaaa, baaaa) These people need to get a clue.
This has been a puclic service announcement from a Doomslayer.