My parents are freaking out about H1N1. Every day the news reports a new case of some young person dying, and they say I better go get the flu shot Or Else. I personally feel that the media is overreacting just to have sensationalist, scary stories that grab people’s attention. Most people who contract H1N1 have mild symptoms, and it hasn’t really killed people any more than the normal flu does…the news just doesn’t report normal flu cases. I understand that not many people have immunity so we’re worried about it’s future effects, but I can’t really force myself to freak out about that right now.
Am I being too skeptical about H1N1? Is this something I should be shaking in my boots about? I have to admit, I fall prey to kind of woo-thinking when it comes to medical things. No, I’m not an anti-vaxer – I trust vaccines and understand their importance. But at the same time, I’ve never had a flu shot and I’ve never gotten seriously ill. The couple of times I’ve had the flu it was just like any other illness – you’re mildly miserable for a couple of days, and then you’re fine. I’m not inclined to change my practices that appear to have worked so far.
My problem is I trust my own immune system and the millions of years of evolution that went into making it a little too much. I don’t take Advil unless my headache is severe, I don’t take Tylenol until my cold becomes unbearable, I avoid superfluous antibiotics, I don’t go to the eye doctor until my vision becomes blurry (actually still have to go, whoops). I know it’s a horrible habit, but I’ve always had a “suck it up unless it’s serious” mentality (or as my dad says for injuries, “Rub some dirt in it”). I feel like I don’t want to build up a tolerance to medication so I can still use it when I really need it.
Am I being completely irrational? You won’t hurt my feelings if you say so – I think we’re all irrational about something. Are there other people out there who think like I do?