Let’s talk about the Coronavirus…
One thing about working in healthcare is the annual virus scare. It’s always something every year, Ebola, SARS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, etc.
I’m not trying to make light of these viruses, I’m just saying that every year it’s something new to think and worry about.
The place my mind always goes to whenever something new breaks out is, does this mean I’m going to have to get yet another vaccine?
I think vaccines are great, overall, measles, mumps, polio, etc. But the yearly flu vaccination? I’m not a fan. According to the CDC website, getting a flu vaccination “reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine.” Keywords: WELL-MATCHED.
There are hundreds of flu viruses currently out there and the flu virus evolves each year to stay alive and adapt. The odds of the CDC accurately predicting that season’s flu strain is slim. I’m not saying it’s not possible and for some people, who have autoimmune diseases, the elderly and pregnant women, something is better than nothing, but the majority of healthcare workers that are FORCED to get the flu vaccination each year?
Yeah, not a fan.
I think I’m more irritated by the fact that I’m FORCED to get the flu vaccination than at the vaccination itself, though I do understand WHY our choice has been taken way, after all, we’re working with the most fragile of our population, it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
So, WHEN the yearly scare occurs, my first thought is, “Oh no you’re NOT going to give me another vaccination.” And really, the only time they would MAKE us get a vaccination based on the prevalent virus of the year would be when it graduates to a pandemic, meaning it’s spread world wide. And by then, it would probably be smarter to get the vaccine – again, I’m just annoyed that my choice has been taken away.
But I digress.
This current virus has everyone truly scared. I routinely talk to patients that tell me they are scared. I mean, viruses are scary in and of themselves, but the media hype only serves to frighten people even more.
So, it’s VERY IMPORTANT that you get the facts and ignore the media hysteria. Remember, the media exists to sell ads and working people up in a frenzy so that they are hanging on every word the media spoon feeds them only serves their own agenda.
The media could care less about the facts.
As a public service announcement, here are a couple of videos by Dr. Mike. I like watching his videos because he does a good job of explaining things so that average Janes (like myself), can understand what’s REALLY happening.
Also, in writing this blog post, I went to the CDC website and looked through Disease Outbreaks by Year. It’s interesting how many diseases circulate and we DON’T really hear about them.
The bottom line, folks, WASH YOUR HANDS. And COVER YOUR MOUTHS WHEN SNEEZING AND COUGHING. And NOT WITH YOUR HANDS. USE A TISSUE OR YOUR SLEEVE.
And don’t touch your face throughout the day only and until you have thoroughly washed your hands. And newsflash: your urine and fecal matter? Is TEEMING with bacteria. You’re not special, your waste byproduct is just as nasty as the person in the stall next to you.
Your hands are dirty. Wash them. Don’t be that asshole that leaves the bathroom without washing his/her hands.
Avoid touching high traffic areas: Door handles, shopping cart handles (use the wipes that most places provide or take some of your own), hand railings, elevator buttons, etc.
That simple step could be all it takes to keep you healthy during flu season.
People are nasty. TRULY. I see it firsthand.