Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bird Flue, Swine Flue, and Down syndrome... and Faith

When we first started to hear about the swine flue, Ricki’s brothers started laughing at the fact that I was concerned at all. “Remember the ‘bird flue’? Another great way to sell newspapers......”.
“Excuse me,” I countered, do you realize that in these few days we have already gone WAY beyond where we were with the bird flue?” And that is true. The only good news is that it seems from the US statistics, that perhaps, especially with good treatment, the death rate may be low. But the statistics from Mexico of high rate of fatalities in the other-wise healthy population is worrisome....
But what I worry the most about is Ricki. How will this virus affect children and adults with Down syndrome? We have no idea. If this virus turns out to be hardest on those with poor immune systems, then they will surely be at bigger risk.
And I remember one tidbit from the bird flue scare (which I blogged about HERE and HERE):a little known pronouncement by those in charge (in the US) that in case of a real crises situation, any lack of medication would demand that medicines and medical services be given first to those who are otherwise healthy, excluding the infirm, and those with other preexisting “conditions”, including the mentally impaired and disabled. Israel currently has a meager amount of Tamiflu, enough to cover a bare 17% of the population. Such statistics do not bode well for the elderly or the infirm..... or anyone else not deemed as “contributors” to society.
Despite the irritating thoughts that all of this can lead to (“Why work to plan Ricki’s IEP if she (or we) may not survive?”, “Will I have to cancel my plans for the summer?”, etc.), I decided not to let my mental processes run amok. We have to limit what we worry about to things we can effectively work on, and control. We always seem to want to run our lives, and then something like this pops up to remind us that WE are not the ones in charge. And at that point, we are obligated to hand the reins back to G-d. Our job is to do the best we can with what life throws us. Nowhere is it stated that we get extra “brownie points” for unproductive worry.

8 comments:

mother in israel said...

It's not a high death rate. 30,000 die annually from flu in the US. So far it's not dangerous, but there is worry that it could mutate

TUC said...

Where did you find the information stating the plan for distributing medications? I would love to read the actual document and complain loudly to the authors.

When I searched the net for it, all I could find was http://www.pandemicflu.gov/faq/vaccines/1079.html which is a link to "How will a vaccine be distributed" which in turn links to this http://www.hhs.gov/pandemicflu/plan/sup6.html that has a link in the appendix to a document that essentially says anyone at risk (babies, the elderly, and persons aged 2–64 years with underlying chronic medical conditions (this would maybe be our children?), is determined to be a high priority and gets the vaccine first...

Anyway, please post where you found this info if you can... Thanks!

Schvach said...

I imagine that the current outbreak of Influenza A (aka 'Swine Flu') is just this years edition if seasonal Flu - nothing to sneeze at, but certainly not worthy of the tele-hype it has so far received.
Talk about disabilities, today I went shopping and saw an adult with
phocomelia. I couldn't remember the correct bracha to recite.

rickismom said...

It was posted last year, a reporting of a document stating who gets priority in REAL crises situation. The link it was on vanished very quickly.

muse said...

My neighbor, who is a professional in medicine, said not to worry. It's just the seasonal flu, and why did you write that Mexicans are so healthy? I doubt it. It's a poor country with all sorts of diseases.

rickismom said...

My comment about Mexicans was not meant to say that they are so healthy,but the fatalities in mexico are in the regular adult population, not the high-risk BABIES/ELDERLY-INFIRM

rickismom said...

But, yes I see that in the meantime the death rate is low... lets hope things stay calm.....

RivkA with a capital A said...

I never thought of my "disability" (cancer) as something that might get me bumped down to the bottom of some list of limited resources.

That is kind of scary.

I prefer the source from TUC which indicates that we are bumped to the top of list.