When Swine Flu Hits Central Queens

May 8, 2009 at 6:21 am 2 comments

That refers to a very good article in the Times (online as of late yesterday afternoon) by Roni Caryn Rabin, a central Queens resident whom I’ve noticed regularly contributes excellent pieces to the NY Times, especially the Science Times. Her daughter, who does not go to St. Francis, got the flu, and it turned out to be a mild case, as most of them have. But the cautionary tale is there for all of us, including what the next round might look like.

By evening she was over the worst of it. She sat with us at dinner but had drunk so much tea she wasn’t really hungry. Every time she coughed we dove under the table. But I knew she was much better when, as she prepared for a world history exam, she had just one question, “What am I going to do about my chem test?”

And I have one lingering concern myself. If–and when–this rolls around again, in a fiercer form, will people think health officials are crying wolf and be blase about it? If this current flue does turn out to be much better than feared–and we all hope it does–the public health campaign must not stop. People need very clear explanations about why and how this virus could mutate into something worse. 

My impulse is to stay away from crowded places, and I’m going to go with it. Rabin’s daughter is high school age, but imagine those symptoms in a much younger child? The Times has to be “responsible” in what it puts out to the public, but sometimes, our own critical thinking (read the comments in response to the article) needs to come into play. 



Entry filed under: Forest Hills.

Major Treat at the Y Is My Kid’s School Closing?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jane  |  May 20, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    just wanted you to say welcome back to your blog! I had you on my “favorites” on my browser for a long time and checked often. I spend a good few minutes catching up on all your recent posts. I appreciate your contribution to the neighborhood!

  • 2. karbeth  |  May 21, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Thanks Jane!


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