Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October 8th Challenge

Hi it’s Christina –

Good Morning! I may or may not get this blog finished before I have to go outside. You see, this morning at 6:25 is the start of a lunar eclipse, and I’d like to see it. Actually, scrap that. I just ran out to the car to get Dani lunch money, and the eclipse already started. I guess when they said 6:25, they meant the moon would be fully eclipsed at that time.
See how the details are magnified
in the orange area?

I tried getting a picture of it for y’all, but my camera isn’t strong enough. All you can see is this reddish-orange dot. It’s a shame, because it does look really cool. I like when the eclipse is partial – part is blocked, but then you can see where it goes from dark to light, and in that orangey section, you can see all the details of the moon’s surface. I found a picture online to better explain what I’m having difficulty articulating.

The other big story that caught my eye was about Enterovirus D68. There are now over six hundred confirmed cases in the US, fourteen here in New Jersey. The NJ number will probably go up later today or tomorrow, because there are five children who have recently been admitted to CHoP, who more than likely have the virus.

Now I’ll admit, I didn’t know a whole lot about Enterovirus, but like with everything else I don’t know about (if it interests me), I read up on it. Being a mom, and hearing that two children have died from this already this year, it interested me. If it does not interest you, you can skip down to the writing challenge, and we’ll chat again tomorrow.

I’m no doctor, scientist, immunologist, but I will try to explain this the best I can. There are five different categories, for lack of a better word, of viruses in this family – Enterovirus, Echovirus, Poliovirus (scary, scary), Rhinovirus (your common cold) & Coxsackie (aka – hoof and mouth, or hand, foot and mouth). Enterovirus is then categorized A – J. What we are dealing with now is the D strain of the virus. Enterovirus E & F used to be called Bovine Enterovirus and I wonder if that’s what we were calling the swine flu? Hmmm, I may have to do some more reading on the subject – later, when I have more time.

D68 hits young children the hardest because they have not built up immunities. Adults can get D68, but chances are you’ll just think it’s a “nasty cold”, and never get tested for the virus, so the annual numbers for the virus are probably much higher than ever reported. Seriously, who goes to the doctors for a cold? I know I don’t.

My sentiments exactly Mr. President.
Along with all the online articles, of course, come all the comments. One particular comment warranted a response, because the person was so off base. I was nice even though my knee jerk reaction was to call him a moron. Yeah, I know, not exactly PC, but hey, I’m human.

He blamed the outbreak of the virus on President Obama and his allowing illegals into the school system. Seriously? D68 was first discovered in 1962 in California, but really didn’t become widespread until 1987. I told him if he insisted on blaming a President, then he should blame Ronald Reagan. I also put in the link to the CDC website in case he actually wanted to get his facts straight before spewing any more politically based nonsense.

Honestly, I’m currently not a fan of any government politician, and heaven knows there are tons of stones you can throw in President Obama’s direction at the moment, but the D68 outbreak of 2014 is not one of them. Sheesh! What goes through some people’s heads... Good grief!

Anyway, if you have kids, and they get a cold, watch them a little closer than you usually do. Keep in mind, some of the symptoms can be minimal. The little boy from NJ went to bed one night with pink eye, and never woke up the next morning. Pink eye was his only symptom. I’m sure this was beyond rare, and there may have been underlying issues we don’t know about, but it’s scary all the same. Mostly the symptoms are cold like and may or may not be accompanied by a fever.

The best prevention of spreading this virus, simple -  hand washing, at least thirty seconds with warm, soapy water. Please note, alcohol based hand sanitizers are not effective against D68. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze; and for the sake of us all, if you’re sick, STAY HOME. News flash, the world will not stop revolving if you do not show up for work for a few days. Yes, you will probably have tons to catch up on when you get back, but at least you will not have infected your entire office.

Okay, enough for one day. I hope you have a wonderful day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge:

Use the following: A Cupcake, A Moose, and An Open Door

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.