Wednesday, July 8, 2009

When H1N1 Hits Home - Aftermath

With much help from the medicines he has been taking, Mattin finally got rid of his whooping cough on day 5. With that gone, he didn't appear to be sick at all. However, he was still quarantined in his room as a precautionary measure and the Cisco guys still kept visiting him at least twice daily until day 7.

The rest of us were fortunate not to have been afflicted with the virus. We didn't even have to take Tamiflu, something I really didn't want to do unless it was absolutely necessary. Our misfortune only went as far as having to eat the same food everyday and being confined within the walls of our home — insignificant to the ordeal my six-year old cousin had to go through. Except for the initial scare (for Matthin's condition), momentary paranoia and period of adjustment, the experience wasn't as bad as we were led to think.

I've agreed since the beginning with my uncle's decision to have Matthin stay at home instead of confining him in the hospital. It would have been twice as difficult for the six-year old boy if the alternative was chosen. Besides, the doctors wouldn't have presented the option if they weren't sure it was safe for him in the first place. This might not need saying, but I'll say it anyway: if this ever happens to your cousin, brother or child, I invite you to consider taking the same course of action.

Today is Matthin's first day in school after the break. He was excited to go back and we were only glad that his excitement had the opposite effect last night — he was able to sleep early. A number of parents in Matthin's school had previously expressed their concern about the unnecessary spread of the news regarding what the boy has been through in the last week, worried that this might cause unnecessary panic on the part of other parents. Their concern is not unwarranted — just a few weeks ago, a boy was being avoided by his classmates because he had cough and colds.

Today is also the day the rest of us go back to our normal lives. Today we regain contact with the outside world, not having to worry about being a threat to the rest of society. We have a story to tell and a few lessons to remember and share from the experience.

Maybe there's no need to be overly concerned with H1N1. But this doesn't mean we can take things for granted and not take measures to protect ourselves from unnecessary trouble. Remaining vigilant is not synonymous to being obsessed. There's wisdom in Andrew Grove's words: "Only the paranoid survive." But as always, we need to take advice with a grain of salt and see things from the right perspective lest we give things a different meaning and turn a totally good advice into words of disaster.

Practicing proper hygiene is a must, with or without H1N1. But if anyone at home should ever be afflicted with the virus, informing the right people is the right thing to do and wearing a mask if you have to report for work or go to school is a little sacrifice that's not unworthy of making.

This is the end of day 7 and the end of this H1N1 series.

>>Day 4<<

>>Day 3<<

>>Day 2<<

>>Day 1<<

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