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H1N1 colonies – why not?

So I hear that an old busybody in Victoria got her knickers in a twist about being on the same bus as someone who dared to cough in this H1N1-sensitive world. The old busybody makes a fuss about it to the driver and the driver politely (1) asks the coughing lady to leave the bus. The sick one was quite rational about this – I’m not so sure I would have been.

“I get the concern,” said Jenn Chapman, 41, a human resources worker. “There needs to be some precaution, there needs to be some education. But there needs to be way less hype.”

Chapman said on Thursday she was riding a bus and coughing into her sleeve, as directed by public health officials — even though her doctor has assured her she doesn’t have H1N1 swine flu.

An elderly woman sitting some distance away told Chapman she shouldn’t be riding public transit with a cough. The woman then approached the driver and demanded he take action.

The driver, although clearly uncomfortable, asked Chapman if she was close enough to her destination to leave the bus. Since she was only two stops away, she got off to keep the peace.

“What are you going to do? I was brought up to respect my elders,” said Chapman. “She wasn’t rational at that point.” (my note – I respect my elders no more than I respect anyone else – they have to earn it.. it is not something that is automatically endowed upon them! OK. That’s my rant about seniors…)

Clearly an intelligent person, that Ms. Chapman. She realised that she was fighting a losing battle against an irrational bitty.

Which brings me to my point: all of this hype is completely over the top.

In the past two weeks, I have counted 11 people wearing face masks on the bus or at a station. When someone coughs, at least 2 or 3 heads to turn to see if the guilty party was anywhere in close proximity.

It-is-the-FLU, people! So you say: “but this is a different strain of the flu” More deadly than others!”

Not true… this is from a Health Canada site:

Q2. I understand Canada has experienced deaths related to the H1N1 virus. Does this mean the virus has grown in strength?

There is no evidence to suggest that the virus has become stronger.

It is important to realize that different strains of influenza result in about 2,000 to 8,000 Canadian deaths a year. We must take all influenza – not just the current strain – seriously, and take measures to protect ourselves.

So. Use some common sense and stay home when you are sick. Like I am doing today, for example. I’m pretty sure that all I have is a bad cold with my usual bronchial issues… but I don’t want to spread it to my co-workers and they certainly don’t want to hear me coughing and sniffing!

But I don’t have Ebola, Bubonic Plague, Cholera,TB or even Cat Scratch Fever! I’m pretty sure of that!

But we do not need to isolate ourselves or be isolated by others if we have some symptoms that may be similar to those with the flu – any flu! If that is encouraged, then we might as well go the full Monty and set up little communities of Swine flu infected folks. We could call them colonies. Pigger colonies. Flu flats.

Hmm… wasn’t there another disease where those infected where left to themselves on the outskirts of town…

Anyhow – chill folks. This happens every year.


1. The driver actually was quite nice about this. Wow. Take note, OC Transpo operators!!


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  1. trashee says:

    Whoa – Fat Arse is a frickin’ poet!

    You have inspired me!

    How about this haiku:

    Dear Canadians,
    Please stop kissing each other
    Thanks, OC Transpo

    Old folks are so scared
    Sick people have lives as well…
    Busybodies bitch.

  2. Fat Arse says:

    re: “The sick one was quite rational about this — I’m not so sure I would have been.”

    When you are sick
    You are weak

    When you are sick
    It’s hard to speak

    When you are sick
    Others want you gone

    When you are sick… you are weak
    Nothing but a target for every uptight-me-first-freak!

  3. trashee says:

    Yup, XUP. Just look at the current health care “debate” happening in the States right now. Does anyone with enough sense to walk and chew gum at the same time really believe that Big Pharm isn’t behind all the rants and raves aimed at the President?

  4. Ken says:

    The question I have is: How does having HAND sanitizers on buses protect you from someone coughing? Are you supposed to put your hands up to deflect the cough?

    I’m willing to bet that more people have been affected by H1N1 paranoia than the actual flu itself.

    Also, I agree with both of you WRT seniors. Try dealing with them and their finances… ack!

  5. XUP says:

    Powerful Big Pharma is set to cash in big time with this H1N1 vaccine, so they’re going to create as much paranoia and hype as they possibly can in order to sell as much of the vaccine as they can. That is the ONLY reason this particular strain of flu is getting all the publicity it is.

  6. trashee says:

    Ah, the cephlapod and I once again agree!

    I don’t mind showing respect to a 70-something if they deserve it. By the same token, I don’t mind showing the same respect to a teen, if they deserve it.

    Here’s the thing – lots 70+ think that because they:
    a) lived through or fought in WWII that they automatically deserve my respect. While I do tend to give war vets a bit more cred than others, I have also known many who are not worthy of the respect of a gnat!

    b) lived through the Depression. Big whoop. Been through some economic downturns myself. All of them caused by their generation, I might add.

    c) believe their age confers the title of a “wise one”. Yeah, right.

    And yeah, my Grandma Millie would have told the bitty to STFU as well!

  7. Ok, I have to rant a bit here.

    One of the things that pisses me off in our culture is that “old people” seem to believe that due to the good fortune of their longevity, they should be treated like royalty. It’s made worse by the fact that we use terms like “senior citizen”, implying that everyone else is junior, and that we set the age limit for that based on life half a century ago when living to be 80 was unusual. Today, people spend about 1/4 to 1/3 or more of their life as “senior” citizens. Once they get that title, far too many seem to believe that they are suddenly owed respect and no longer have the responsibility of giving respect to anyone else.

    That’s not to say that people shouldn’t have a certain amount of respect for the wisdom that often (but not always) comes with advanced years, but it is to say that the correct response would have been for the bus driver to respond “If it bothers you, lady, there’s the door.” Obviously asking someone to leave the bus was a viable option.

    Seniors are the most advantaged class in the country. Yes, there are plenty of seniors who live in poverty, but collectively they are the richest people… despite this, we give them discounts and put up with their shit as if being aged somehow changes the whole ruleset of polite company.

    I’d like to see the whole term “senior citizen” disappear from the vernacular. I’d like to see old people treated in accordance with the way they treat other people. Maybe that would encourage more of them to use their supposed wisdom for greater benefit rather than, say, being an asshole on the bus.

    I’m pretty sure may 80-something grandmother, had she been on the bus, would have told that old biddy to sit down and STFU. 🙂

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