Saturday, November 7, 2009

My H1N1 Chronicle

I finally have direct personal experience with the swine flu! Given my ongoing criticism of the irrational hysteria surrounding this virus, particularly the nationwide obsession with getting vaccinated regardless of one's risk of complications (or risk of catching the flu in the first place), I thought I would share an account of my own experience.

According to the CDC,
"as of September 2009, more than 99% of circulating influenza viruses in the United States are 2009 H1N1."
So this specific strain is, in all likelihood, the one I was infected with and experiencing over the past 48 hours. I can't even remember the last time I had a flu, but here is my account of this one:

Thursday 9PM: Onset of mild cough, fatigue, sore throat, pounding head/sinus/body aches. (I never get headaches, and that part was particularly rough). Begin 4g/day of Vitamin C and extra zinc. Alternate chills/sweats through night.

Friday 9AM: Participate in conference call. Nap for two hours. Work productively for seven hours. Relax on couch for night, soothing aches with tortellini soup, loyal cat, and Netflix.

2AM: Fever breaks. Head stops throbbing.

10AM: Wake up energetic. Nearly all symptoms subsided. Chase cat around apartment. Vacuum. Make breakfast. Watch Star Trek.

2PM: In SoHo drooling over Ducatis with friend.

End Question: If this virus constitutes a national emergency and societal panic, WTF are people going to do if they (gasp) get a head cold? Seriously people!

Oh wait! Our healthcare system doesn't yet have a vested interest in convincing Americans that the common cold will tranform them into human time bombs. Until we can sell prescription drugs and/or vaccines for the common cold -- or better yet, convince folks that it has mutated into some freakish strain that makes even polio seem wimpy, and under which we would fall utterly helpless despite four billion years of immunological evolution -- we can't yet profit from such hysteria. My bad.