Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Could We Really Handle A Pandemic?

So after the scare, the costly ad campaign, the endless lineups and the constant media attention, Canada, particularly Ontario, is left with an unused flood of swine flu vaccine. Thank heavens there was no pandemic because our health bureaucrats left me with doubts about how they would cope. It makes me fear for the future. Our medicrats don't seem to be able to deal with strep throats, let alone a real problem.
My wife and I with chronic health conditions were turned away from an early clinic because we were too old and maybe had acquired some resistance. Yet the system that turned us away has a surplus of 4.5 million doses of vaccine just in Ontario. Now we're thinking of donating 10 million doses to other countries. Yet there were lineups and people turned away , and then they end up with empty clinics filled with yawning emergency staff and giant coolers stuffed with vaccine.Thank heavens my wife never got sick or they would have had to place a guard around the health minister and the provincial MOH. They both get an F for flunking Emergency 101.
I fear the flu. I have got a flu shot every year since they were invented. I have written columns saying that nurses, paramedics and hospital support staff who won't get the shot each fall should be fired because they increase the danger to the rest of us, particularly the vulnerable sick. I listen to the jerks preaching against any variety of shot and wonder why they are putting my family at risk because they are increasing the risk of epidemics.
There are reasons I get the flu shot. There was a flu epidemic just before World War Two that killed my father, a doctor, through overwork. The Spanish epidemic of 1918-1919 ruined the health of my uncle, also a doctor. It took a year for him to recover. When my first two grandsons were born, both 40-ounce preemies, the hospital wouldn't let us in unless we had flu shots. A sensible precaution. I sat on the board of a chronic care hospital where board members had to get the shot because a flu outbreak could decimate our patients.
I wrote about the swine flu in a blog on Nov. 13 with the headline Snapshots. As I said then, I treasure our health system because all you have to do is listen to the American health care debate to realize how fortunate Canadians are. Trouble is, our system is infected by a cover-your-ass attitude where the health pros seem to care more about liability than treatment.
One problem is the leftist approach by our public health medicrats who have raised political correctness to the dais as the most important goal. Privacy is king. Let's not embarrass people when the kids have funny things crawling through their hair. Take the fact that we were told to call this strain of flu H1N1 so we wouldn't upset the pork producers. So a catchy name was dropped, which meant, I bet, that the slower among us didn't know what in heck they were talking about.
Of course the old days of compulsory reporting of VD contacts etc. are now frowned upon. Remember when doctors nailed a sign to the door to warn the neighbourhood that the kids inside had some infectious disease. My father and other doctors carried such warning signs routinely in their black bag or car.
Those were the days when the fewer number of doctors in this city actually made house calls. But we have made giant strides in medicine, or so they tell us, and now we can line up for hours to get our health care after we drag ourselves to the office. Isn't progress grand!

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