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. §;o)