Thursday, April 30, 2009

Possible Pandemic: Common Sense

I don't pretend to be a medical doctor nor a scientist, but in light of the possible pandemic of swine flu, I have some observations. I hope most of them are wisdom.

1. The Lord is sovereign. Obey him and trust him, and you will not die until his assignment for you is done. That doesn't mean you should be careless. It doesn't mean you should not take precautions. It does mean you should not worry the way unbelievers do.

2. You can't trust the government to take care of you. The government of your country should try to take wise action, but if there's a pandemic, there will not be enough antiviral drugs for all of those who are seriously ill. Your government will probably do too little, too late.

3. The risk to you individually is significant, but not great. The possibility of a pandemic is very real, and in a pandemic millions could die. However, the probability at this point is that we won't have a pandemic, and if we have a pandemic, the probability is that you will survive.

4. It's wise to avoid needless exposure. This is a good time to avoid crowds, unless your job puts you in them. It's a good time to be extra-careful about hygiene.

5. It's wise to avoid needlessly exposing others. If you show any symptoms that could be flu, you should be in contact with as few people as possible. By the time you're confident that you have the swine flu, you'll no longer be contagious.

6. Home remedies may save your life or the lives of some people you love. Know how to make and how to use rehydration liquid. Have some acetamenophen on hand for keeping fever down. If someone becomes too feverish, do whatever is necessary to bring the fever down, including feeding the person frozen juice or packing the person in ice.

7. Every emergency room should be preparing a place for possible flu victims to sit or lie either outdoors or in isolation from other patients. Although this is common sense, don't depend on it happening.

8. Some governments are rushing to pass legislation requiring licensed medical personnel to treat people, even if there is serious danger to their own lives, on the penalty of losing their medical licenses. I think that's a bad idea. If there's a pandemic, I think most medical personnel would do best by using their own judgment concerning whether treating a particular patient is worth the risk to their own lives. If we require full treatment of those who are sickest and most contagious, we could have most of our medical personnel quickly immobilized by illness.

Once again, I remind you that the Lord is sovereign, and he is good. Trust in him and do what is right.

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