Saturday, October 10, 2009

To stab or not to stab...

- Martha Fein, The Dead Egon Schiele, 1918.

Yesterday morning I was looking at a number of Anton Josef Trčka's portraits of Egon Schiele who, together with his wife, died in 1918 at age 28 of the Spanish Flu.

As many others I imagine, I'm wondering whether I should get the stab for Pig Flu or not. In general vaccines would seem 'unfashionable' as of late - you only need to look at the increases in cases of Whooping Cough - but at the same time I'm always cautious about being potentially out of action for weeks on end.

This is the curse of a casual, freelance or self-employed work force ... sick simply equals no income. Even income protection insurance only kicks in after months and MUCH 'diplomacy'.

I guess my main concern - surprisingly under reported in Australia at least - is the potential second, more robust 'wave' that occurred in 1918.

Whilst a vaccine might not work on any new strain it 'might' give us at least a bit of a defensive 'shield'.

As of October 9, 185 people have died in Australia (27 in Western Australia). I was also reading in the paper this morning that there has been a 15-fold increase in A&E admissions due to flu-related issues.

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