Pandemic or Pandemonium

What began in rural Mexico in February-March of last year, and grew into the 2009 Pandemic, has faded off into the sunset in 2010. Enjoying a lecture tonight by University Studies instructor Blaine Legaree, I was transported back to those tense days in spring with the World Health Organization escalated the pandemic threat from Level 4 to Level 5, and eventually to Level 6.

We passed through an uneventful summer before cases of H1N1 began to appear in Alberta. And as the vaccine became available we watched as the level of apathy remained inordinately high and public health officials began to get concerned.

Then, a young hockey player in grade 8 from Ontario, Evan Frustaglio, came down with the flu on Friday and was dead by Sunday. A youngster who loved to play the game became the game-changer -- apathy melted into pandemonium.

For a period of several weeks, the line-ups to get vaccinated were like nothing else that we had seen in our lifetime, three, four, as high as eight hour waits in some cities. And as quickly as things got crazy, everything quickly went back to normal, as the Swine Flu became yesterday's news.

Legaree pointed out that while H1N1 cases have dropped off dramatically in Canada and that we are likely in the post-pandemic phase, the virus continues to spread in parts of eastern Europe and there are reports that some mutation has begun. He succinctly suggested that the 2009 Pandemic may very well have been a trial run, a dress rehearsal if you will, for a more virulent virus lurking in the pig pens and chicken coops of some forgotten farm in the middle of nowhere.

January 29, 2010 - 196.4 pounds, 27.1% body fat

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