I'm not an alarmist (usually). I might freak out over certain things, but when the term "swine flu" started getting thrown around, I didn't panic, I didn't freak out. I'm still not panicking. But I really want that H1N1 vaccine, and I can't get it yet.
I went to Kaiser today, and marched up to the flu clinic to ask about getting the shot. The lady informed me that at this point, they're only giving the vaccine to people who are 25-64 years of age with a chronic condition such as diabetes, asthma, kidney or liver disease, etc.
"High blood pressure?" I inquired hopefully.
"Sorry, no," she replied.
"Do you know when a teacher might be able to get it?"
"I wish I could give it to you now--I think teachers should be on the list right now." She was very kind, and I was understanding--she didn't make up the rules, but she does have to follow them.
I understand, too, that supplies are limited, and production is behind. But I want that shot, because I do NOT want to get H1N1.
Again, I'm not being an alarmist. But I know that my chances of getting H1N1 are high, because I work with children. Children who don't always remember to wash their hands, or cover their coughs. There's only so much hand-washing and Oust-spraying I can do. Sooner or later, I will be exposed to H1N1, and I really want that vaccine before I am.
If my chances of getting H1N1 are high, my chances of having complications are low. I don't think it's going to kill us all--but from what I hear about it, it makes you want to die. A fellow Chorale singer is coming off of a bout of H1N1, and from what he said, it was a miserable experience. Apparently it takes several days to come back from it, and as a teacher, I can't afford those days. Sure, I have the sick days on the books--that's not a problem--but the thought of being out for a week or more, and the sub plans and craziness that would ensue because I am assigned to two school sites makes my head spin. I just don't want to deal with it.
The nurse gave me the number for Kaiser's flu hotline, and I'll keep up with it. As soon as that vaccine is available to me, I will be there, with my arm bared. I already got my regular flu shot, and I want to cover all of my bases.
In the meantime, I will wash my hands a lot, tell my kids to cover their mouths when coughing, and Oust the hell out of my classroom at every opportunity.