We've reached 15% absenteeism which requires us to report it to the district as per the new swine flu safety guidelines. We've been directed to sanitize everything as often as possible. Although there definitely are some cases of swine flu around town, it is hard to tell why kids are absent right now. The state fair is going on in Anchorage and moose hunting season opened yesterday for the first time in 5 years (there was a 5 year moratorium to allow the moose population around Bethel to grow). I would wager that there are more kids absent due to moose hunting than swine flu, but we still have to report it.
Here are some of the things that the CDC is saying about swine flu...
- Visits to doctors for influenza-like illness (ILI) were highest in February during the 2008-09 flu season, but rose again in April 2009 after the new H1N1 virus emerged. Current visits to doctors for influenza-like illness are down from April, but are higher than what is expected in the summer and has increased over the last two weeks.
- Total influenza hospitalization rates for adults and children are similar to or lower than seasonal influenza hospitalization rates depending on age group.
- The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was low and within the bounds of what is expected in the summer.
- Most state health officials are reporting regional or sporadic influenza activity. Two states (Alaska and Georgia) and Puerto Rico are reporting widespread influenza activity at this time. Any reports of widespread influenza activity in August are very unusual.
- Almost all of the influenza viruses identified were the new 2009 H1N1 influenza A viruses. These 2009 H1N1 viruses remain similar to the viruses chosen for the 2009 H1N1 vaccine and remain susceptible to antiviral drugs (oseltamivir and zanamivir) with rare exception.
Speaking of swine flu.....I'm soooooooooo sick of all the hype. It's just the flu! JUST THE FLU! The flu virus changes EVERY year. That's why we have to have a new version of the flu shot every year. More people die every year from the regular flu than have died from the swine flu, but we dont have press releases and flu safety guidelines for the regular flu.
The thing that bogles my mind the most is the people who are in a big fuss over the swine flu, but will STILL sit there and say that they dont believe in evolution. The swine flu IS MODERN DAY EVOLUTION IN ACTION. If you dont believe in evolution then you cant believe in the swine flu.
Which then leads me to say the this whole idea of "believing in" evolution is ridiculous too. Evolution is not a belief system. It is a scientific process that can be observed and tested. Saying you dont "believe in" evolution would be like saying you dont "believe in" gravity. You can't see gravity or physically hold it in your hand and yet we all know that it exists. It is not a belief system, it is a testable scientific theory. So is evolution!
Also, since people always want to bring the topic of evolution around to monkeys, let me just say that there is NO SCIENTIST ANYWHERE that says that humans evolved from monkeys. That is NOT what evolution says. People in general have a HUGE misconception that according to evolution, humans evolved from monkeys. THIS IS NOT TRUE! What evolution DOES say is that monkeys and humans shared a common ancestor. My advice to people who still think that evolution says humans evolved from monkeys is to go out an learn what evolution really is and what evolution really says, because it seems to me that most people who dont "believe in" evolution dont really know much about it.
Another thing that evolution DOES NOT say is that God did not create everything. Science doesnt address "who" made living things, it only addresses HOW. There really is no conflict between science and religion (unless you view the Bible as being a literal account of fact). Evolution fits nicely with the idea of creation if you just take the time to learn about it.
I could go on and on about this topic. I would have liked to dedicate an entire post to this issue, but I havent gotten around to it and now is as good a time as any.