Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Almost Drank the Kool-Aid

Yep, I did indeed. I was lucky though, somebody intervened. 

I wasn't going to get the H1N1 shot. I'm not convinced it was tested enough. Evil things like Guillain Barre or other equally or worse diseases and ailments can take place only years after the vaccine. For those who claim that it is safe, how do you know? I find the business practises of Pharma companies irreprehensible for the most part, but I also know that they spend more than 5 months testing a drug and a government agency to give the ok before unleashing it to the population at large. 

Another reason I was not going to get it was because I was (still am) terrified of how I will react to it. Yah! Yah! Yah! Chances are minute; maybe a sore arm for a few days and a little fever, blah! Blah! Blah! The problem is, it's not reassuring to me. When it comes to many types of pharmaceuticals, especially the injected kind, I have always been part of that minority who will have worse side-effects. It will take me longer to recuperate from them than most. I never get the regular flu shot because I don't want to be down with yet another side-effect and  I believe one's anti-bodies need to be given chance to boost themselves naturally.

I also know what happened in 1976 when that H1N1 was pushed on to the American public so quickly following an epidemic at Fort Dix, New Jersey (I posted a brief synopsis of my research).  I wonder if we learned our lessons from that time in history? 

I work in health & social services for the Quebec Government, so I fell onto the early schedule and tomorrow is the last day for such employees. However, my job is not with the public. I have zero contact with clients. I work in an IT and Telecom department in my own private office.  Most of my job related communications are done through email and the telephone. My biggest contact with the population at large is the commute to and from work. I don't have a choice, I don't drive. However, I am careful these days to try not to get on a bus or a metro car that is crowded like a can of sardines.

I have had flu when I was a kid, but not that often. I catch colds and sometimes some doozies where it would take me a week to get rid of the worst of it. I haven't had flu during my adult life. I never worried about dying from the flu or even about H1N1 this year.

Not long ago,  a lot of Canadians were not going to get the H1N1 vaccine for pretty much the same reasons I wasn't: never get the flu shot, allow our anti-bodies to work, afraid of the side-effects, etc. etc. The only deaths we heard about were those who had underlying conditions.

Let fear mongering begin!  The media sensationalizes even further and scares more people to the unknown.  Disorganization at every level. Conflicting views from the Harpercons, GSK, Public Health and the provinces to some degree. Carolyn Bennett, a doctor herself expresses concerns about the safety of the vaccine for pregnant women during question period and gets heckled by the Harpercons (video is here).  A federal health minister who seems to know absolutely nothing except to blame the provinces and GSK and can't answer reporter's questions. 

At a time of National crisis, where is Stevie again? Oh yeah! He's gallavanting with Prince Charles and his 'wife'. Why should any of us be surprised really? He fucks off UN climate talks in favour of din-din with Mayor Bloomberg, He fucks off Pres. Obama's speech at UN in favour of donuts at Timmy's! Why should this be any different? 

I hate that this insanity has caused otherwise sane and rational people who normally wouldn't buy a car without test driving it first but will play guinea pig and have a largely untested vaccine injected into their system without thinking of the long term consequences. Hell, I almost did it tonight!

I know we are not obligated to get vaccinated and legally, no one can force us to. Even the notices at work specified that vaccination was voluntary. However, as usual, I always read between the lines, I analyze and yes, I do think outside the box. I can't help but get the feeling that we will be judged as very irresponsible callous people if we don't get vaccinated. This is the feeling I get from most people I know, be it friends; be it co workers. I made the mistake of airing my concerns about the safety of the vaccine solely because I don't want to see anyone getting hurt, especially by rushing into something without giving it much thought or research. Clever ain't it? GSK can't stand by it's product, so then they flog the story of young Evan Frustaglio.  That don't work, its' market by guilt and depending who you talk to: coercion.

The most common remark I got hardly makes any sense at all, when I mention I don't want to get the vaccine: 'when (not if) you get sick, stay away from me!' It's like some foregone conclusion I will get sick automatically.  What's even less logical about that statement is if they're so sure that vaccine is going to protect them, why should they worry about me going near them if I get sick?

I think I've been having a psychosomatic cold this week. I don't have fever, sinus issue, cough and the usual, but I feel not quite myself since Monday when the vaccination schedule began. I had been wondering if the fact I hadn't been 100% could exempt me from the shot.  I was going to wait to make a decision after the appointment with the neurologist today.  I finally caved in, in spite of not feeling all that well, due to peer pressure and those who originally told me they were not going to get the shot finally caved in and did.

I had my husband accompany me to the clinic to get my shot. I felt like I was walking into the unknown; that there would be no turning back. They called my number, I filled out the form. Then, last stop, the table with the nurses. I was trembling like a leaf. I sat in the chair and had a panic attack. I had difficulty talking to the nurses.  They saw that I was a wreck. They asked me about my history of drug reactions and I told them each reaction to each drug. They asked me if I want to be vaccinated. I told them to hurry it up. They decided not to vaccinate me and either way, the other folks waiting after me would have a longer wait: they had run out of vaccine and were waiting for a delivery of more from another clinic. They reassured me that I could get vaccinated anytime with the rest of the population until mid-December should I change my mind. I had even heard whisperings around the clinic of some nurses not getting the shot. Maybe I will get it on a Friday when I know the next two days my husband isn't working. Maybe not. 

As for the world condemning folks like myself for not getting the shot. I am not being irresponsible or wreckless. I am going to do what I always do: take cod liver oil, up the vitamin D and C consumptions as well as oregano oil. I believe that will be fine. I will continue to stay away from crowded places. Should I catch a cold, I will stay home from work or anyplace else, something I never used to do; neither did the rest of the world before the pandemonium began.

Yes, I admit, I have been sniffing around the kool-aid due to the sensationalist media hype. H1N1 does make me nervous. However, the vaccine makes me more nervous. I will observe those folks I know who got the shot and see how they are. Maybe some folks are just saying they they got the shot to get folks off their backs when in reality, they didn't. I will never know. No one can.

It is each individual's decision whether or not to get vaccinated and no one: not the media, not any public health organization, not your employer, not your coworkers can or should decide for you. No one should pressure you or try to guilt you into it. It is only you and your family doctor who knows your medical history. Only you can weigh the chances of flu  vs side effects from this vaccine. Only you can decide what you're prepared to live with. I only hope that before you drink that kool-aid, as hard as it may be, research 1976 yourselves. Do more research. Don't just read what the media spoon feeds you. Research more obscure sources. Think outside the box.

I almost drank the kool-aid, now I hope that public health, Steve, Agluquack and the rest of the Harpercons choke on it. Who knows? I may become thirsty again a few weeks from now. 

1 comment:

laughingwolf said...

thx for dropping over, ck :)

your polls don't work for me :(

i will NOT get the h1n1 vaccine...