I remember when I read ‘The Hot Zone’, Richard Preston’s non-fiction account of killer germs like Marburg, Ebola, and other hemorrhagic fevers. I was truly terrified, but I remember being less scared by his historical background material on the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. It’s true, it killed nearly 25 million in its first 25 weeks. ‘But that was so long ago, I thought, ‘with Medical Science not sufficiently advanced or able to deal with simple things, like the flu. After all, we now have flu shots, penicillin and the like.’
If the constant scares about ‘bird flu’ haven’t given the term a new weight (and they recently killed thousands of turkeys in nearby Abbotsford because one of them had been found to have contracted it), I have a new reason to be respectful. I was infected with some strain of Influenza on Friday, Feburary 20th, and I effectively disappeared from daily life until roughly today, 8 days later (and I can’t even be positive that it has utterly, completely and totally left me — I really hope that the SOB has). Without going into the gory details, I was out of it for nearly the whole week and miserable. This meant that I not only missed some business meetings (but no deadlines, thank goodness), but also the second day of Northern Voice (which by many accounts was the best ever), a Blogger Meetup, and Launch Party Vol 6, all which I was looking forward to attending. There’s truly no good time to come down with the flu, but a knock-you-on-your-ass case this week was truly unfortunate.
Last year, at this time, Pam was on her trip to Antarctica, and I came down with a case of the flu then as well (although nothing as severe and long as this one). That year, as with this year, I had gotten a flu shot, but I lost the gamble that it covered the strain that I caught. You only have a roughly 1 in 3 chance that the shots actually will do the trick, and so far, over the past 3 years, I’m pretty much getting that hit rate. (1 hit, 2 misses)
I hope this (getting the flu, that is) doesn’t become a regular, last week in February event, because we are planning on a trip in almost exactly a year’s time.
In the meantime, I’ll write more when I get my strength back.