A close encounter with the dreaded Swine Flu?

Unspun was laid low by the flu last week after coming back from Kuala Lumpur. Its amazing how your perception becomes more acute when the threat of a possible disease focuses you mind.

One of the things Unspun noticed on returning to Jakarta was how they had these health officers who are supposed to collect questionnaires from passengers landing in Jakarta. They were there but in true Indonesian official fashion were completely ineffective. The passengers who bothered to fill in the forms were asked for their forms. They were the miniroty. The majority did not fill in any forms and walked straight through. Thermal imaging machines were not working – they have the same effect as metal detectors in the hotelsĀ  here – all that expensive gear doing nothing because the people manning them can’t be half arsed to do things right.

Be that as it may by early last week Unspun was laid low by a vicious attack of the flu. Dark thoughts flashed through my mind: Could it be the dreaded Swine Flu? I was too out of it to seek medical treatment and all I could do was to curl up in bed, suffer and try to read McNab’s Crossfire. By the time Nick Stone clobbered the bad guys, two days later, Unspun was on the mend and on to Larry McMurthry’s second instalment of the Berrybender Narratives.

Then it was Unspun’s wife’s turn to be laid low by the flu. We went to SOS Medika for treatment and was asked to do a test for Influenza A or B. Unspun got the all clear but Missus was diagnozed positive for Influenza A. The doctor gave us a choice self-isolation at home or isolation in the hospital. we , of course, picked the former but Unspun couldn’t help wondering what if were were irresponsible and did not isolate ourselves and we actually did have H1N1? How many people we could have potentially infected? At any rate we had to wait three days for the test results.

Lots of things happened after that. Missus’ flu got worse and we thought it may be H1Ni manifesting its ugly head, until Sunday when she was told by a doctor in Medistra Hospital that it could not be H1N1 because her fever had broken. if she had H1N1 the fever would remain high.

This morning Missus called SOS Medika as she wanted to make sure she had the all clear. The administror there told her that it now would take two weeks before they can get the result. Up until last week they had been told by the government that it would take three days to get the test results but it was now so overwhelmed that it would take two weeks before they could get the results out.

Unspun is now wondering how stupid all of this is. If it takes two weeks to get the results, how is it even possible to mount a rapid response to a possible pandemic? And what are suspected patients supposed to do all these two weeks, twiddle their thumbs? What if they had to work? How many people would have the discipline and wherewithal to isolate themselves for two weeks? In two weeks suffers could be dead or recovered, what was the point of it all?

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