Swine Flu Preparedness Tips And Advice

The current near hysteria over the H1N1 virus, commonly referred to a Swine Flu, has gripped the world. It’s gotten so bad that I’m getting emails at my 9-to-5 about how to prevent the spread of the Swine Flu. That’s in addition to the corporate email that says stay home if you get the sniffles and if there’s an outbreak, you’ll get a message from the company’s emergency planning hotline. Naturally, I couldn’t just post this latest message without a bit of editorializing in the classic FJM-style. So, here’s some advice to avoid the Swine Flu from a real doctor… I think.

Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. He has worked in institutions like Hinduja Hospital , Bombay Hospital , Saifee Hospital , Tata Memorial etc. Presently, he is heading our Nuclear Medicine Department and Thyroid clinic at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and Critical Centre, Mumbai, India.

This can’t be a good start. Our doctor has been shipped around to at least a half-dozen different hospitals in India. How good can this guy be if hospitals don’t want him around for more than four years? And what does India know about medicine anyway? Have you ever heard of the Mumbai Journal of Medicine? We’re off to a spectacular start.

The following message given by him, I feel makes a lot of sense and is important for all to know.

Yeah, the message may make sense but your grammar doesn’t. You’re missing a comma before “given.”

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat.

The good doctor clearly has less experience with the ladies than I do. Women have two more “portals of entry” that I can think of off hand. And 50 Cent was given 9 more portals of entry that one time as he is fond of rapping about.

In a global epidemic of this nature, it’s almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

So we’re all going to meet someone with Swine Flu then. Then why isn’t getting the H1N1 vaccine better than following your list of home remedies? I’m in Canada and in the age group most likely to get Swine Flu. Wouldn’t I be better off with getting a needle?

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock Tamiflu):

I’m reading that as you can have and spread Swine Flu without actually knowing that you have Swine Flu. That’s a comforting thought. So one of the folks in the cubicles around me or someone around the lunch room can have H1N1 that could kill me (it’s supposed to be really scary, after all), and no one will even know. And does this guy really have to use a fancy word like “proliferation” over and over again instead of “spread.” And again, why can’t we just get the damn vaccine?

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

I think this piece of advice falls under the realm of “No shit, Sherlock.” You don’t have to be a doctor to tell us that. You also don’t have to be a doctor to know that frequent hand-washing, especially with what is likely to be an anti-bacterial soap, will cause us to make things worse by creating a superbug that is resistant to antibiotics. So the good doctor means that you should wash your hands now and pay the price later. That’s why he’s been through over six hospitals in 20 years.

2. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

I can see that argument in court during a domestic disturbance case. “I had to slap my wife, your honour. If I didn’t, she would have caught Swine Flu.”

3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don’t underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

What did I say before about not showing symptoms but actually being sick? Turns out that I was right. The guy in the cubicle next to me that doesn’t feel well probably has Swine Flu but isn’t showing it yet. Really, though, who gargles anymore? Is it some display of manhood? I’ve never met a woman who gargles and never met a man under the age of 55 that does it either. Does he think a guy will willingly gargle warm salt water? There’s a slightly tasteless joke about women gargling here but I just can’t get it off…

4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water.

If I’m not going to gargle salt water, I’m not going to spray it up my nose. I’m not keen to feel what it’s like to drown.

*Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities),

I looked it up. “Yoga asanas” is a very fancy way to say yoga poses. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing that the doctor is that familiar with yoga. It’s more worrying when I looked at what those neti things involved. It’s basically pouring warm salt water into your nose and doing some poses. The instructions I found also involved shoving a tube up your nose. I’ll pass.

*but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

That’s getting a bit more reasonable, I suppose. What is with this guy’s salt water obsession? I don’t suppose we can go back to Listerine.

*Neti pots and sinus rinse kits are available at the drug store and relatively inexpensive….under $15.

If it costs that much in India for things that I’ll never use, imagine how much less they’ll cost here… For things that no one in their right mind would use.

5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

Now hang on a minute. What is this “amla” that the doc is speaking of? Is this some sort of secret fruit found only in India that is the reason that there’s a billion of them over there. There’s supposed to be food to help guys out without taking a certain blue pill. I wonder if this secret fruit of theirs gives the guys some extra jump. To hell with its ability to stave off Swine Flu, if it’s going to help guys with the horizontal tango, I want to corner the import market before someone else does.

6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

So instead of expelling the virus, we’re going to open the gates? I know that the old folk remedy is to drown a cold but that’s a cold, not the next great pandemic that’ll wipe out half the planet’s population… Or whatever bullshit fear mongering we get this week. And has anyone else ever wondered how a virus can’t survive in your stomach but a tape worm can? Doesn’t make much sense. But what do I know? I don’t have three different acronyms after my name. I only have one and it doesn’t really count because it’s BA.

I suggest you pass this on to your entire e-list. You never know who might pay attention to it — and STAY WELL because of it.

But does the good doctor really want everyone on your “e-list” to stay well? Then he would be out of a job. Maybe that’s his whole ploy to begin with. Give useless tips so folks would have to go to the doctor. What’s up with that, Doc? Maybe we should just do the exact opposite of his advice.

Please note that the author of this post is neither a doctor nor has any medical training of any sort. If you actually follow his advice, you probably deserve what’s coming to you.

3 thoughts on “Swine Flu Preparedness Tips And Advice

  1. gold sir. this was gold. pretty much half of that shit could have been filed under the category of “No shit, Sherlock”

    And in a time when the annual flu virus has hit us harder than ever, the media has every major city in pandemic mode over this shit. ftw.


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