This time labels won't cut it. My three children and perhaps yours are smack-dab in the middle of the high-risk group, and we keep watching people on television lined up to get the H1N1 flu shot wondering where those fortunate people live. Where most of us live you know that H1N1 is a national emergency, but there's nothing you can do about it. The vaccine is always coming next week. You know that they don't want to close the schools until so many people are sick that education is nearly impossible. Okay, I guess. But, what they don't know is where you can get your kids, and yourselves, into a line that actually leads to prevention.
Now, if this doesn't remind you of the government's inept Hurricane Katrina response where people desperate for water and help waited, waited and waited, then you must have been born in the last few years.
The head of the CDC, Thomas Frieden, has apologized. He says he "shares" our frustration. Is that what he was doing in August when he downplayed flu fears? And why was the White House not on that problem right away given that its own report contradicted this view?
The apology is disingenuous and doesn't mean beans to parents wondering if their child is going to be one of the unfortunate who, for some as yet unknown reason, has a violent reaction to H1N1. And why are we in the dark? And why is that acceptable?
Have members of Congress gotten H1N1 shots or sprays yet? Have their families? Well, what about yours and mine? If it's a national emergency and an informed hospital health care worker I overhead talking today is right, that most of the flu we're now seeing is H1N1 and the severity of the threat is being understated, then what is going on?
Is this the same government that wants us to believe that we need to send thousands of troops to Afghanistan? If they can't even get flu shots to kids in danger at home, then what makes us think these geniuses know what they're doing there either? Once again are their kids being protected and ours not?
We're in a national emergency and most of us are seeing squat when it comes to a national response.
There is no excuse for this. No apology makes it acceptable. If we don't see action now, then we need new people in government, a new party to run against the two bought and sold ones. As we can see this time, and there will be other times, they don't protect our children until they're good and ready to get around to it. But they don't mind sending them half way around the world to make some generals happy, our president a "wartime" one, and some masters of the universe even more deliriously wealthy. If they want our trust, they can earn it.
Dr. Reardon also blogs at bardscove.