According to the gossip and hand sanitizers I have noticed on campus, students seem to be pretty concerned about the H1N1 virus and its appearance on campus. It’s amazing that this one virus has done more for cleanliness and hygiene than STDs and pregnancy have done for protected sex.
Then again, swine flu isn’t picky with who it goes to bed with.
Despite its easy preferences, I feel that we are over-exaggerating the dangers of swine flu. Students seem to be under the impression that the H1N1 virus is some kind of a super-virus or a biohazard with an “I Am Legend” complex. However, this just isn’t the case. Swine flu is just a virus and, by flu standards, not even the most dangerous one out there. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 36,000 people die annually from seasonal influenza alone, with over 200,000 hospitalized. I’m not telling you this to scare you, I’m
just pointing out that our attention span seems a bit schizophrenic.
Also, what are you afraid of, Blazers? We still have our young and powerful immune systems working for us. Out of the 36,000 who die from influenza, people between the ages of 20-24 make up only .6% of that total. I don’t mean to sound insincere when talking about death, but the odds are clearly in our favor in terms of survival.
This is something to consider before panicking and taking a flu vaccination from a child or somebody’s grandmother.
America is no stranger to these moments of hypochondria. This is actually one of the major problems I see with universal health care for this country. Every now and then, Americans lose their minds because of some disease that the media highlights as the downfall of human civilization. Currently, the newest superstar is swine flu. Before that, we were freaking out about the bird flu. And in 2003, we were wetting ourselves to the SARS outbreak that occurred in Canada.
Honestly, how have we not gotten used to this yet? I realize that disease can be scary, but so was the dark, being struck by lightning, and walking across Patterson. Eventually, you get use to the threat. You realize that the odds of you being eaten by a monster under your bed or hit by lightening are very slim. As for walking across Patterson…
…Well, no one lives forever.