Day 195 – “Just like the ‘flu” virus actually not just like the ‘flu shock

Latest figures just in from that bastion of public health, the USA, suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 virus might not be “just like the flu” as many well-educated* people had previously suggested.

In fact, the most recent figures available suggest that in the USA, more people have died of Covid-19 this year than in the last five influenza seasons put together.

I don’t like bandying around numbers of thousands of deaths like each and every one doesn’t matter, but I’m lowering myself temporarily to Donald’s level in order the address this clear error.

Using the CDC figures from 6th October, the estimated number of deaths from Covid-19 is somehow sitting at 197,884, despite the virus being a hoax and paradoxically also causing a mild illness from which that everyone recovers.

And (again using CDC figures), the deaths from influenza over the last five years have been (working backwards) 22,000, 34,000, 61,000, 38,000 and 23,000. That’s a total of 178,000.
In five years.

So… how is that “just like the ‘flu”?
(Except in that they have both managed to kill hundreds of thousands of American people.)

Ironically, there is hope that this year’s influenza season in the Northern hemisphere will be much milder than previous years, simply and precisely because of the precautions being taken against Covid-19. It’s already happened (or… er… not happened) in the Southern hemisphere, including South Africa.

Who could have known that keeping your distance, wearing a mask and washing your hands regularly could have reduced the chance of becoming infected by any given virus?

OK, that was most of us.

This is absolutely the time to keep going though. We might be emerging from the influenza season that never happened, but with the Covid-19 numbers starting to drop, there’s a real risk of complacency setting in. Indeed, that drop has stopped over the last couple of weeks and thus, we might be at a bit of a crossroads right now.
Let’s make the right turn: mask up, wash your hands and keep your distance.

It’s not rocket science.

 

 

* by Facebook and Donald Trump 

Influenza A virus subtype H1N1

Apparently, there’s a nasty bug going around Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs at the moment and that nasty bug is Influenza A virus subtype H1N1.

Sadly, my daughter has succumbed and is man girl down. It’s been four days now and she’s only starting to mend. I think there’s a nice bacterial bronchitis taking hold now.

It’s not fun seeing your kids struck down like this, so my advice to you would be to try to avoid letting your kids get Influenza A virus subtype H1N1.

And while the Northern hemisphere flu vaccine included cover for H1N1, our local version… didn’t.

Oops.

Thus, the only way to effectively protect your children is to hermetically seal them in a plastic bag. However, I have been informed that this may also be detrimental to their health, so maybe don’t try that.

Lucozade, rest, nurofen and – from today –  some azithromycin.

We’ll get her mended.

Ugandan Discussions

I haven’t been there and hey, I’m a married man, so Uganda not a regular topic for discussion*.

I’ve heard many good things from friends and colleagues who have worked, lived and/or visited Uganda, but given the flu-like symptoms I am currently experiencing (and by flu-like, I mean flu-like and not influenza) (yet), I’m quite glad I haven’t been there.

Flu-like symptoms is how a cold starts. It’s also how influenza starts. And of course, it’s how Ebola infection first manifests itself. And that’s what is killing Ugandans left, right, but mainly centre right now.

Obviously, you guys will be the first to know when I start leaking blood from every orifice.

*Ugandan Discussions at Urban Dictionary

#deathby

Flu. Not “flu”. Not “manflu”. Actual flu. Influenza A virus H1N1.

The next time someone tells me that they were off work yesterday because they had “flu”, I’m going to punch them in the face. That is, assuming that I don’t have flu, because if I do, I won’t even be able to lift my arm up. If you’ve ever had flu, you’ll know what I mean.

For the first two days you think you’re going to die. For the next five, you wish you had.

For minute after minute, the King Kong that is my immune system fended off the pesky virus biplanes. But then, eventually overwhelmed by their sheer numbers and tenacity, it chivalrously placed the beautiful lady carefully atop the skyscraper roof before dropping, Rand-like, into the street below. Across the family 6000 city, similar dead primates were being dumped on low loaders and heading off for the Vissershoek landfill site.
What ensued was a catalogue of vomiting, sweating, aches, pains, rigors, fevers, coughing and general high fever malaise which I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. We lost days. The drugs were of little assistance, offering scant protection against the onslaught – like holding up a pillow to protect you from a freight train.

This all began (for me) on Saturday. Today is the first day I’ve started to feel even vaguely human. And in that time, REM split up, the Rand… just… died (what happened there?!?), I missed out on a birthday and my dad’s knee exploded.

I think – I hope – that we’re through it now. But if you have a little sniffle, then don’t call it “flu” unless you’re going to do that hard yards like wringing the sweat out of your t-shirt, losing 3 kilos in as many days and wondering who stamped on your head.

Notably (and unsurprisingly), the only people in and around our family who didn’t get sick were those who had the flu jab earlier this year – on my recommendation. Next time around, I’m going to take my own advice.