Monday, November 21, 2005

Flu Season Is Here...And What About Bird Flu?

So, it seems flu season is upon us. I haven't been able to get a flu shot--yet--so I'm washing my hands a lot and knocking on wood that I don't get sick. There was supposed to be plenty of flu vaccine this year after last year's supply debacle, but there's a monkeywrench in the works somewhere.

My daughters and grandchildren have had a stomach virus of some type, but I don't think the flu comes with intestinal symptoms. Still, that's no comfort when you're sick. They were pretty miserable, and I hope that particular virus stays away from my door!

There's a lot of talk and concern about the bird flu and the possibility of a pandemic. The way I understand it, the bird flu as it exists now isn't much of a danger, as you have to be in contact with a live bird that has the disease before you can get it. The problem is, viruses mutate frequently, and if this particular flu viruses mutates so it can be passed from person to person instead of bird to person, THAT'S when we'd get that pandemic.

The Hungarians have developed a vaccine for the current form of bird flu. They say they've tested it and it works. But the question is, if the virus mutates, would it mutate enough so a vaccine for the current form wouldn't work against the new one? If so, I assume we'd have to wait to develop a new vaccine until the mutated flu actually struck, which could mean many people would die in the meantime.

What are your thoughts on the possibility of a pandemic version of bird flu? Are you worried? Are you changing your habits because of it? Have you gotten your flu shot this year when you never did before, just in case it helps? I'd love to get your take on it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Beautiful Fall

We've finally dried out and I'm enjoying the unseasonably warm temperatures we're having right now. The fall colors are beautiful. I've heard some people complain they aren't as vibrant as usual, there aren't as many reds as usual. But to someone having their first New England fall in many, many years, they're incredible! I wander around the house, look out each window, and every window is a picture. Gosh, I wish I could paint. I'll have to learn someday.

I was a little surprised that we only got half a dozen trick-or-treaters here. I suppose it's because of the steep hill we live on. But I enjoyed each and every one. I'm going to try to remember how to post pictures, and add a picture of my granddaughter and grandson on Halloween. I wish I'd been able to see them in person. That's the only down side of moving to New Hampshire...leaving kids and grandkids behind. Aren't they adorable? And no, I'm not prejudiced at all. ;-)

One thing I'm coping with is learning my way around a new neighborhood. After living in one place for the last ten years, it's a challenge to find new grocery stores, new doctors, new restaurants. I've never been terribly good at maps or finding my way to new places, so every time I have to do so, it's a teeth-gritting experience. I have to find my way to the airport next week, and with all the traffic, that will be a real challenge. I think I'll deserve a medal if I make it!

So what's your favorite thing about moving to a new place? What's the biggest challenge? How is your fall going...are you enjoying it?