Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What's the big deal?

Maybe I'm being naive, but why's everyone freaking out about the swine flu?

I know, it's a horrible sickness and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. However, only about 1,000 people died from it last year. It sounds like a lot, but in actuality, over 3,000 people die every year from the flu. When you're talking about out of roughly 300,000,000 people in the US, I figure I have pretty good odds. That's 1 in 300,000. I actually have a better chance of dying from being struck by lightning which is 1 in nearly 80,000, which is almost four times higher chance. (I better not ever go outside then!)

Here's a few more things I have a better chance of dying of: (I rounded the bigger numbers to make it easier)
Flood: 1 in 144,200
Earthquake: 1 in 117,200
Legal execution: 1 in 62,500
Hornet, wasp or bee sting: 1 in 56,800
Alcohol poisoning: 1 in 10,000
Accidental electrocution: 1 in 9,900
Accidental firearm discharge: 1 in 5,100
Bicycling accident: 1 in 4,900
Fire or smoke: 1 in 1,100
Motorcycle accident: 1 in 1,000
Drowning: 1 in 1,000
Firearm assault: 1 in 315
Falling: 1 in 220
Suicide: 1 in 120
Car accident: 1 in 84
Stroke: 1 in 24
Cancer: 1 in 7
Heart disease: 1 in 5

I've gotten a lot of flack for not getting the vaccine or giving it to my kids. But we rarely are sick. When we are, it's usually not even bad enough to go to the doctor. My girls have only had antibiotics maybe three times between the two of them (I can actually only think of once when Lexi had an ear infection at 2 or 3 years old - but I'm sure I'm forgetting others).

Don't get me wrong, if your immune system is weakened, by all means, take the shot. But if not, shouldn't we save the vaccine for those that really do need it? I think we pump way too many drugs into our systems without really knowing what they will do to us. I shouldn't really be the one saying this since I take more meds in one day than some people twice my age. But I often wonder what it's all doing to my body and if it is even worth it.

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