The Great Unicorn Flu Panic of 2009

Truth, Lies and Ridiculous Hyperbole

I admit it. I’ve been sneaking over to the GOS occasionally to keep up with the Novel H1N1 scuttlebutt amongst so-called Liberals/Progressives, just to see how much hypocrisy they would reduce themselves to spewing. Sort of like NASCAR, where people really go to see the spectacular, firey crashes more than to watch rednecks in souped-up tin cans go around in circles all day long.

First, I’ll say that in my region the Unicorn flu was already “widespread” (according to CDC) more than a month before any of the vaccines were available. All that’s now available is the live virus nasal spray. And seriously at-risk people can’t take the nasal spray, so it may be over FAPP. No schools have closed. No hospitals ended up with patients in tents in the parking lot. I think there have been one or two deaths, but there’s no readily available figures on that. CDC’s advice at this point is if you’re sick, stay home and don’t bother your doctor or hospital unless you’re really in trouble. Oh, and if you have flu, it’s Unicorn, not regular seasonal – which hasn’t hit yet.

Oh… and adverse reactions from vaccines aren’t reported either. Probably won’t be because it’s not something they want you to know.

TRUTH: Seasonal flu kills or contributes to the deaths of ~30-50,000 people in the U.S. every year. Has your nightly news been dominated year after year with reports of rates of infection, hospitalization and deaths from the regular seasonal flu? Is it common knowledge that there are adverse reactions to vaccination – including GB Syndrome – every season? There are. Not to mention the fact that Baxter contaminated their regular flu trivalent last year with live avian virus…

If you’re planning to get the vaccine, I hope it goes well and you stay healthy this season from all the strains circulating. If not, I hope you avoid all those strains. If you’ve already had the Unicorn flu (like me), I hope you avoid the rest of the strains. Now, a couple of cites from GOS with some alarmist statements by diarists and some downright insulting comments…

From this diary’s overly authoritarian and abusive comments by the FluShot Police:

Every year, the flu virus contains different strains. There are many many strains of flu, and in no way are you immune to them unless you’ve been sick most of your life…

That’s from a commenter aiming at the diarist while pretending to be a professional Know-It-All. It’s bullshit. First, the seasonal flu vaccine is what “contains different strains.” The flu itself can’t contain different strains because a flu virus IS a ‘strain’. The Unicorn flu has genetic elements from several different strains, but still qualifies as its own strain and is not different strains. Second, most people are indeed resistant or immune to most circulating flu viruses because they don’t get sick from the flu every year or get the shots every year, but are as exposed as the rest of the population.

I’ve never had a flu shot, have gotten flu twice in my life that I recall. Hong Kong (early ’70s) was gnarly back in my 20s, Unicorn flu wasn’t bad at all compared to that. I’ve missed every single seasonal flu that ever came along in all the years before and since. Even though lots of people around me – in close quarters most of the time at work or home – did get those flus.

Most folks just don’t get the flu in any given year, no matter how widespread the epidemic. Even in 1918 not everyone exposed got the flu. It was virulent enough to infect 1/3 to 1/2 of those exposed, but that still means at least half the people exposed didn’t get it. Of those it did infect, it was fatal in 2%, double the usual seasonal flu rate of 1%, but still 98% short of something like vCJD or rabies. Outliers in areas with high interrelatedness of the population (i.e., many pacific islands), the death rate went as high as 20%. Gnarly and scary, but hardly as deadly as the fear-mongers would love for us all to believe. It killed via cytokine storm, implicated in some deaths of otherwise healthy people per the new Unicorn flu. But that’s viral pneumonia. CDC says most dying at this point are dying of secondary infection, opportunistic bacterial pneumonia. That’s not autoimmune.

Then there are the many Know-It-All kossacks of the “everyone must be FORCED to take the shot” variety who insist that nothing can be said about the relative mildness of the flu if the cases of flu they’re talking about haven’t been confirmed Unicorn. What crap! The CDC says 99% of all flu like illness right now is Unicorn, and testing is limited primarily to those who are hospitalized. And CDC is advising that people NOT go to the doctor unless they’re dying of it. This sort of assertion is a double-edged sword. If you wish to exclude people from talking about the flu unless they’re talking confirmed cases, then you’re limiting this oh-so scary flu to only those who have been hospitalized AND tested (~1/10 of hospitalized victims). Less than 5,000 cases. Which makes Unicorn flu not at all a Big Threat and nothing much to be concerned about!

Even worse, the pro-vaccine fear-mongers at Orange insist that if you’ve had the flu recently – 99% likely Unicorn by CDC estimation – you MUST get the shot (when it’s available, if ever) anyway! How is that not blatant shilling for Big Pharma and unnecessary vaccination? Nor do the fear-mongers care if you’re in a risk group, despite the fact that the vaccine won’t be available to the non-risk groups until Christmas season at best, and then only in a supply adequate for 2% of the population! Such horsehockey.

Another malicious lie being spread at Orange by the fear-mongers in order to justify their insistence that immunization be mandatory regardless of personal choice or the fact that you’ve already had the flu or are naturally immune is the assertion that if the Unicorn flu mutates to something more virulent and deadly, the vaccine will protect you against that NEW strain. Plain old bullshit.

Finally, there’s this diary not only calling the body’s own immune system “home-grown terrorists” per Unicorn flu (the cytokine reaction canard), but hosting a commenter insisting that anyone who refuses to get the shot is “culpable” for killing people who do die of the flu!!! Pertinent exchange:

Asshole: The vaccine will protect you or your children from the disease itself, and will keep you and your children from killing others and their children.

Response: “Killing others? […] Portraying the choice to avoid the vaccine as homicide is ugly hyperbole.

Asshole: But not inaccurate – you are culpable if you do not take reasonable measures to not give other people an infectious, and potentially dangerous disease, then yes, you are killing people.

You know, it just makes my head ache to know I was summarily banned back in April for noticing the CDC’s public announcement that the Unicorn flu was a genetic chimera, yet the rampant CT fear-mongering and shilling for Big Pharma at DKos is tolerated to the point where diary after diary comes in daily saying the same damned things.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Unicorn flu was reported by CDC last week to be “Widespread” in 41 states, while doctor’s visits and hospitalizations have gone up enough to indicate this flu is “peaking” right now as the vaccines for the general population are still a month away. Through October 10 there have been a total of 15,696 hospitalizations from influenza/complications, and 2,029 deaths (pneumonia). Of all those hospitalizations, 4,958 were tested, 99.2% Unicorn or assumed Unicorn. It’s the only strain now going around that they’re bothering with.

And for all the vaccine fear-mongers wanting to call everybody in the 41 states where the epidemic is now officially “Widespread” that they’re homicidal maniacs if they haven’t had the vaccine, CDC reports these figures as of October 16:

Doses allocated (on paper) at project area depots so they can be ordered: 11,422,900

Doses ordered: 7,971,800

Doses shipped: 5,885,900

The total shipped for my epidemic-bound state is 190,100. There are ~9,400,000 citizens in this state. So they’ve ordered enough vaccine to vaccinate 2% of our people. By the time the killed/attenuated injectable vaccines actually get here the epidemic will be basically over and most of the people susceptible will already be immune because they already had it. The rest of the exposed were resistant/immune in the first place because they didn’t get it, thus don’t need the shot either.

Even worse, if the total allocated vaccine represents ALL vaccines, they’ve planned to vaccinate less than 4% of the population during the course of this pandemic anyway!

What I see between the lines of the fear-mongering at the Status Quo Protection Blog these days is a push to insist that everyone be forced to be vaccinated with vaccines being produced for only 2-4% of the population and that won’t be available in that bulk until around February or March of next year (if then), when the pandemic’s over and nobody will be buying. What’s the matter with these chicken-shits?

I’d say good luck, but don’t need to. Few people who are already immune are going to get a vaccination they don’t need even if they would have wanted it if it were available before they got sick. The Great Unicorn Flu Scare of 2009 will be over before their vaccines even get distributed, and by then the Unicorn will have proven itself less than impressive on the global death-and-destruction scale. Then the regular old seasonal flu will hit around January and cause its usual amount of death and destruction. Strangely, the Orange-Alert scarerists don’t seem the least bit worried about that.

Just over 2,000 deaths as we move quickly to epidemic peak. Worst case scenario when it’s over, less than 10,000. That ‘usual’ death-and-destruction scale for regular seasonal flu bottoms out at 30,000 a year. Making this extra flu quite minimal, other than it scares the shit out of the Young and Beautiful set which cares diddly-squat about the “kind” of people the regular seasonal flu kills year after year after year. Their own risk being ever so much more important, you see, because THEY are ever so much more valuable than lesser humans are.

Geez. Sometimes I wish it weren’t so easy to read the evil minds of corporate greedheads, naked shills, government goons and plain old ‘fraidy-cats who can’t do simple math. Or what passes for minds in narcissistic wannabes. They can be so positively boring. ยง;o)


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    • Joy B. on October 19, 2009 at 19:21

    actual work. Back later!

  1. Doctor honored my daughter’s refusal of both vaccines for my grandson.  I too have seen the vaccine propaganda changes, one shot or two, live vs dead virus and now somebody claimed the US version has no adjuvants.  That does show morphing stories targeted to your specific peasant population just like Strategic Communications Laboratories outlines in their mission statement.

    We kill 55,000 in cars each year but nobody wants to ban cars.  The younger set, far more inclined to have alzheimers at 40.

  2. for the seasonal flu shot where I work and actually I agree with the stance. They are making the H1N1 shot optional.

    I agree if you are going to plan to do mass flu vaccinations that planning to go for 4% of the population seems silly.

    I disagree that nobody cares about who does or does not die from the flu. No do I think anybody who supports getting a flu shot is a fraidy cat or an evil coprorate greedhead. I am getting not to protect me but to protect the patients I work with from me. I have an immune system and considering all of the weird ass viruses I come in contact with that haven’t done major damage yet so there are valid reasons for opting to get the shot that don’t make people total assholes.

  3. having seen stats on how it is killing healthy younger people and the new data that shows it is a relative of the 1918 flu – which is why older demographics have some immunity – I’m not willing to say it’s a bad idea for risk groups to get the vaccine (shot), if they can find it — especially those who’ve had little or no adverse reactions to the seasonal flu shot.  

    The current stats on mortality is that it kills 1 percent.  If that were of the entire U.S. population, it’d be 3,050,000 people.  The numbers will likely be far less than that, but this concern is about those who’d require hospital could exceed ICU capacity and grind a broken system to a halt.  If I were in a risk group and had not experienced problems with the seasonal flu shot, I’d consider getting it (the one without the preservative).  Of course, I’d probably be left waiting for it until after Thanksgiving, like everyone else, and that’s when it will really spread…  Oh, drat…

    • TMC on October 20, 2009 at 04:28

    I don’t think that anyone should be forced to accept treatment they do not want. I do my best in the best interest of the patient to inform with the best information that I have and to give my opinion to the patient. I then take a step back, let them ask questions and think about their decision and the possible consequences. If they have questions I can’t answer, I try my best to find the answer, if there is one. Sometimes there isn’t.

     To the best of my knowledge, at this time, this virus is an aberration or wild variant. It is atypical in that it occurred during the Summer and severely sickened and killed young, healthy children, adults and pregnant women in a disproportionate number. That to me is alarming. Would I advise you to get the H1N1 immunization? Well, yes. Would I take the shots, as a 62 year old healthy woman? Yes, but I can’t because of previous adverse reaction to the flu shot years ago. My reaction was not normal and very rare, it was not GB, it was what is called idiosyncratic. It happens, rarely.

      Any medical decision that you make should be done based on good verifiable information. Sadly, that isn’t always possible but in this case I think it is. This virus has been watched not just by the CDC and WHO but by every notable virologist around the world, just like SARS. For those who decide for themselves and for their children to not get the vaccination, I strongly suggest that you take several precautions.


     Second, carry a hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of greater than 60% and use it whenever you can’t wash your hands.

     Third, cover your coughs ans sneezes with tissues or the your sleeve, so you don’t spread the “joy’ around.

     Fourth, increase your vitamin C  and anti-oxident intake, in other words eat fresh and healthy if you aren’t already.  

     Fifth, do not share food or drinks with others, a bit of common sense but parents often share with their children. They shouldn’t.

     Sixth, if you do get sick, stay home. Hopefully, you are in a financial situation that you can or have a job that affords you that ability.

    Joy B., I greatly enjoy and appreciate your diaries. Thanks

  4. From 1988 until 2003 I came down with the flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, and bronchial pneumonia at least twice a year while I was taking annual H1N1 flu shots. From 1988 until 1991 those flu shots were mandatory and administered by the military.

    I stopped taking these shots in 2004 and have only gotten anything remotely resembling the flu twice in the past five years.

    Fuck them and their bullshit flu shots.

    • Inky99 on October 21, 2009 at 03:35

    every year because it really seemed to increase my overall immune system.  

    But I’m sure not getting this swine flu one.    And because of the obvious, preempetive negligence on the part of  Big Pharma on this, I’m not going to get any more vaccinations.

    Big Pharma is corrupt, and what’s really weird, is that apparently the CDC is now, too.   Used to be you could utterly believe anything the CDC told you.   Not any more.

    • Inky99 on October 21, 2009 at 07:47

    The flu ain’t making me sick, but this article sure does!

    “The vaccine market is booming,” says Bruce Carlson, spokesperson at market research firm Kalorama, which publishes an annual survey of the vaccine industry. “It’s an enormous growth area for pharmaceuticals at a time when other areas are not doing so well,” he says, noting that the pipeline for more traditional blockbuster drugs such as Lipitor and Nexium has thinned.

    Yup, create a fake pandemic, market a “solution” for it, scare the shit out of everyone, watch the money pour in!

    It’s awesome, baby!  

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