Friday, October 30, 2009

H1N1 Hype

It has been a crazy week as far as stress levels go. Cody has been a real handful attitude-wise, and Jamie is always a real handful because that's the stage he is at right now. For him, it is not usually an attitude issue, but a matter of being into everything all the time.

I have been struggling with depression and apparently it has come out in this blog somewhat. I apologize if my posts have been downers recently. One of the things that has been really bothering me is this whole H1N1 issue. Anyone else? I am not interested in arguing about whether to vaccinate or not, but I will share a few thoughts that I have been having about this entire situation.

Is it just me, or is the whole world completely terrified right now? Some people are scared because of reports predicting that this flu is going to be widespread and have dire effects on the health of those who contract it. Even death, which is probably why it is so scary. Others are afraid of the vaccine because they believe it is unsafe due to insufficient testing. Still others in a more extreme camp are afraid of the vaccine because they believe it was manufactured in order to deliberately murder a significant part of the population either as population control or as genocide. There seems to be a small part of the population who are completely unconcerned either way because they believe it is all hype and nothing will go wrong or be a big deal.

I am not writing this in order to express an opinion or an argument, but I will say that the genocide fear is unfounded because the vaccine is being administered to a very diverse group of people and not targeting specific ethnic groups. The population control fear is also (in my opinion) somewhat ridiculous because if the government wanted to do that they would not target children. It makes more sense that they would administer it to seniors because they would save money on pension funds on the baby boomers for one thing. (No offense, anyone! I'm just saying if that were their motive they would target a more expensive group of people! They might also administer it in prisons!)

So, back to my original purpose for this post. It seems like whether you are for the vaccine or against it, the main drive behind people's choices is fear. I know that is not the case for everyone, but it seems pretty wide spread. I have been very stressed out about whether or not to get vaccinated and also whether to have my kids done. I have found the fear overwhelming and quite frankly all the talk about government conspiracies and the evil of vaccines combined with the bombardment of stories of young people dying of the flu has got me feeling completely drained.

The worst part of this for me is that it has triggered a deep fear in me. The fear is not about the vaccine specifically, but about failing my children. I don't know whether all moms struggle with this or not, but almost daily I feel I am failing my children in some way. Maybe I am not disciplining enough, or properly, or maybe I don't feed them healthy enough foods. Maybe I should take them outside more, or read to Jamie and Micah more than I do. What if my many shortcomings are damaging my kids? With those thoughts pummeling me on a regular basis, how could I not be upset by the choice before me? If I vaccinate my kids and they react and have permanent damage or even worse, death, it will be my fault. If I do not vaccinate my kids and they get the H1N1 flu and die, again it will be my fault. In either scenario, I have failed my children in the worst way possible. All I want to do is protect my kids to the best of my ability, and it bothers me to no end that either choice seems riddled with fear and even paranoia, and either way I am risking their lives at some level. So, conspiracy or not, this whole H1N1 thing has been a terrible source of stress for me over the last couple of weeks, and I suspect it will continue that way for a while. I just wanted to vent that out a little. I guess my greatest fear is that I will fail my children.

Anyway, I have been writing this all day and it is time to relax and watch a movie with Mike. Goodnight.


Anonymous said...

I was feeling the same way too. Yesterday I thought for sure I'd get an ulcer with all of the worrying/"researching" I was doing. Finally last night before I went to bed I pretty much begged and pleaded with God to yell at me what I was supposed to do. He didn't yell, he didn't send me a dream or give me a vision. He gave me a peace. I woke up this morning with such a peace that I have had with me all day that I know can only come from him, especially with the turmoil I was putting myself through yesterday. I'm not telling you what my decision has been, what God has told me to do, because I don't think it is the same for everyone and I don't want to influence your decision. I do want to influence you in how you reach your decision. I'm not saying that begging and pleading with God is the way to do it but at least leave it with him because he really does know best. I'm not saying you haven't left it with him but if you are like me then you've taken that responsibility away from him several times, at least I did. All I am going to say (along with this prelude I guess) is trust him, he'll guide you. No matter what the decision, vaccinate/not vaccinate, I believe we need to pray for protection over our kids and God will answer.

CAT said...

Thank you for your comment. I too have prayed for wisdom and for guidance in this situation. Mike and I together have asked God to protect our family no matter which decision we make, and our extended family too. I think that's all I'm going to say on this for the moment.