Monday, 15 June 2009

Swine Flu in Town

FOR perhaps the first time in living memory, the grapevine failed to deliver the hottest news to my doorstep. In fact, I had to rely on the national news on TV (delivered via the station located a hundred miles away) to know what's happening in a village a good 2 to 3 kilometers from home. And that dreadful news is that my town is now affected by A(H1N1), AKA the swine flu.

In as much as I would want to, I'd rant about how useless the government's actions are as regards preventing the spread of the disease. However, doing such will go directly against my "limit-the-rants-in-this-blog" directive, so I'd just leave it at that. But I think it's proper that I voice out my opinions, nonetheless. I'll just tone down the rants a bit. =P

For those who still do not know, the village in question is about the remotest in my town. I actually haven't gone to that place, though I have passed one or twice near it when taking an alternate route I'd only take on certain occasions. So that leaves a great mystery as to how the virus got there in the first place. Current theories include a group of people on medical mission, and a foreign national, bringing it to that place.

Solving that mystery isn't top priority though. It's curtailing the spread that is mainly on everyone's minds. And what are people doing about it?

As relayed via the news report (the grapevine seemingly succumbed to the flu already and fails to function as before), government medical personnel are going about handing out vitamins and antiviral drugs. I JUST SINCERELY HOPE THAT THE PEOPLE ARE TOLD NOT TO TAKE THE MEDICINE IF THEY'RE NOT AFFLICTED, to avoid the novel virus from evolving by interacting with an already immune host. I know a person or two will likely down those drugs as soon as it's been handed, and that's worrisome. It'll be catastrophic for the influenza strain to evolve when the cure for the novel one is still not around.

Frankly, I'm no longer assuming that people are really keen on preventing the spread of the disease. The mere fact that it reached my remote town is already proof that not everyone is thinking of avoiding the continuous transfer, and almost imminent mutation, of the virus. What I'm bearing in mind now are ways to avoid contacting it.

But what I'm getting ticked at the most is that the health department seems to be downplaying the disease' effects. Sure I agree that the endemic Dengue fever is far more fatal, however it is but foolish to just put A(H1N1) on second priority due to the lower fatality rate.

At the end of the day, it is a matter of personal crusade against the virus that should be at the heart of everyone. Preventing the spread of the disease through all means possible, even if it means going on self-quarantine for several days, should be what each one of us must bear in mind always.

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