The Flu or What it Looks Like…

From Facebook on 18 July 2020.

Someone posted on Facebook about H1N1 pandemic of 2009 and comparing it to COVID-19. If I recall posters, hand-washing was the important aspect of this flu. It lead me to wonder what the difference was between H1N1 and COVID-19. The most interesting fact? While they are viruses, they are not even from the same family.

H1N1 is an influenza virus – one of the most common types of virus. We know that because flu shots are often from influenza strains that are available based on data and history. So that lead to how misinformation can happen – the Spanish flu of 1918 is actually H1N1. Both are respiratory disorders/diseases but function differently in their viral structure.

COVID-19, while novel, its structure is familiar due to its genetic relationship with SARS viruses. There are data and records of SARS and MERS viruses floating around. Vaccinations are difficult with this virus family. I know that the CDC is not a popular organization due to their consistent changing of information and data. It is the nature of science with novel natural products of the environment, in this case, changes are made pandering to the federal government. Nonetheless, the link shows the difference between H1N1/Flu and COVID-19 and how they may be confused (again, COVID-19 is novel compared to H1N1), especially with the upcoming flu season.

The thing about the H1N1 being a pandemic in 2009 – I don’t even recall any shut downs, requiring masks and what we are going through now. I only recall – “wash your hands longer than normal” and posters are still up in elementary schools where I teach. It is like talking about apples and oranges. The media did not really touch much on this influenza unless it was in social media? I don’t recall this but my kids will recall COVID-19 for sure and so will many of us adults. Perhaps the federal government was a much kinder collaborative community than it is now. If there are any psychological-sociological studies comparing the pandemics (society reaction/behavior) in the last hundred years – please share it with me. I would be interested in reading up on it.

Also in the post – 2009 was not an election year. The election year was in 2008. There was no competition to get voters attention, it was done and done with, one piece of history and lives go on ahead to the next thing on their daily “agenda”.

If COVID-19 is similar to SARS and MERS – people are wearing masks, not all of them but they are out there. If this novel virus is like the influenza, what is wrong with washing your hands longer and often? Viruses are natural products of our environment – safety is paramount. Viruses should never be politicalized, that is the failing of the United States and its citizens.


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