Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Flu Season And Canadian Identity

Sometimes I go through cycles of being healthy and busy then sick and overworked. I find this blog tough to work on sometimes because I want to give a personal view of Victoria and Canada. When I get busy online I don't feel very Canadian. I become a citizen of the world.

Sickness is the great equalizer. The rich and the poor; the old and the young: all get sick and sometimes become helpless. The workaholics stay with their families and the hermits find comfort in talking with strangers when they have to go out. Nobody wishes to be alone when they are sick.

Some professionals seem to get every flu bug going around. Teachers have a hard time because illness moves fast among the children and the bug never goes away. Sometimes a class can through a whole school year without having all the students present.

I have had a few 'sick days' but thought flu season was over. Then in the last week I have been tired and sore. I am not alone.

In British Columbia, the influenza season tends to peak in December and January, but this year there were few cases in those months, said Dr. Murray Fyfe, a medical health officer with the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

"We thought we might have dodged the influenza bullet for the year, but in the past week or two, we've started to see cases now emerging," Fyfe said. (via CBC)

Here in rainy Victoria we like to tease our fellow Canadians around this time with jokes about their snow and our gardens. (Gardeners are already putting out compost and/or cedar shavings.) The wind and cold rain reminds us that winter isn't over yet. Flu season reminds us that we are like everyone else in this country. We get ill and look outward. In conversations with relatives in other provinces we find common ground in our pain.

Patriotism takes an odd turn during Flu Season. When O Canada plays at hockey games or other events we don't wave flags. We wave our tissues or hankies.


(Originally posted at Topics from 192 countries.)

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