Happy Birthday Prime Minister Harper!

April 30, 2009

Oh No!  It’s the attack of the pink flamingos!

Prime Minister Stephen Harper leaves 24 Sussex with his daughter Rachel to be surprised by a flock of pink flamingos on the front lawn for his 50th birthday in Ottawa, Thursday, April 30, 2009. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper leaves 24 Sussex with his daughter Rachel to be surprised by a flock of pink flamingos on the front lawn for his 50th birthday in Ottawa, Thursday, April 30, 2009. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

OTTAWA — There’s a flock of 50 pink, plastic flamingos gracing the lawn of the prime minister’s residence this morning.

Stephen Harper’s staff thought this would be the way to mark his 50th birthday.


Swine Flu: Are we all doomed?

April 29, 2009

I’m not a doctor, nor am I any kind of authority on medical and health related issues. But what strikes as odd is how the media is feeding into the flame that is Swine Flu. Am I saying that Canadians shouldn’t be concerned? – No. That’s not what I mean at all. But when you turn on CTV, CBC, CNN – all the major networks really – and they all have a ‘BREAKING NEWS’ story on this swine flu, you’d think that people are dying by the hundreds everywhere.

I’m reminded somewhat of movies like Outbreak, Armageddon, or Deep Impact.  I’ve half expected to see US President Barack Obama come on TV and tell us that the world is doomed.  Is that the case?  Are we doomed?

Opinion 1: No.

Dr. Michael Gardam, director of infectious disease prevention and control at the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, said in an interview with the CBC that an outbreak of swine flu in Ontario, would not be as serious as SARS was in 2003.

Opinion 2: No.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. David Butler-Jones, stated that (at the time) the six affected Canadians suffered from only mild symptoms and have already started to recover. However, Butler-Jones warned against complacency, stating that the fact that only mild cases have been reported so far “doesn’t mean we won’t see either some more severe illness or potentially deaths.”

Now if I was to take everything I saw on the news at face value I should be of the mindset that everyone was doomed and that no one was recovering, but that people were only growing sicker and sicker with no hope in sight.

Will people continue to get sick? That seems to be the pattern that we’re seeing. So yeah… probably. That is the horrible part to this whole thing, of course. But the media doesn’t help anything by fanning the flames and not even giving a glimmer of hope. Put more of an emphasis on what the professionals are doing to HELP; and their progress, their plans, and their ideas.

What can you do to protect yourself?

DON’T PANIC

Stay alert – watch people around you (stay clear of the sick)

Wash your hands regularly

Cough/Sneeze into your arm or sleeve

If you are sick, stay at home rather than going to work/out and about unless it’s absolutely necessary.

If you feel you may have the flu, or be getting it, please get checked out by a medical professional – Do not wait and do not try to just self medicate.

Swine Flu shouldn’t be taken lightly by any means. It is important that we are all aware. That said, the sky is not falling and we shouldn’t be afraid to live our lives.