The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

H1N1 paranoia


A colleague called in the other day and requested permission to take the day off since he felt unwell.

“Fair enough, take rest, and get well soon”, I said, thinking that the conversation had come to an end.

“I have fever, a cold, a sore throat, and some body pain. I wonder if I have swine flu. Can you suggest a clinic where I can get myself checked?” he asked.

I did a double take. Swine flu? Must be just a touch of simple influenza, considering that it has been intolerably humid off late, and going in and out of the airconditioning isn’t exactly the ideal thing to do.

“Don’t worry, you will be fine,” I ventured, till I realized that he was serious about getting himself checked.

That’s what the current pandemic has done to people these days. People are worried that they will catch the bug, more so when they hear about the rising number of casualties world-wide. The media, with all good intentions, has reported on this in considerable detail, but matters have reached a stage where the public, at large, has become paranoid about this.

Patients with common cold and fever make a bee-line for the H1N1 testing centres, creating enormous pressure on the system. And, genuine cases do not get treated because the centres cannot cope with the demand.

For sure, H1N1 is a cause for concern, and needs attention in terms of infrastructure to carrying out testing, and availability of medicines to treat the illness. However, there also needs to be reassurance given to the general public that every flu is not necessarily H1N1.

More people die of malaria and dysentery, diseases that people have come to accept as a part of life.

As long as one is sensible, careful and exercises the appropriate precautions, the chances of contracting swineflu are low.

And, what of my colleague?

He returned to work, looking very sheepish, the next day and declared that he was feeling better after a dose of paracetamol.

I left the matter of swine and flu unsaid.



September 3, 2009 - Posted by | About this and that | , , , , , ,

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