Later today, you’ll be thrilled to hear, I’m off to the doctors to go and get my swine flu jab. I mentioned in my earlier post about seasonal flu that last year I did manage to successfully contract flu (proper flu I mean, not “man flu”; no, honestly) and I vowed never to miss a vaccination again. The sweats, weakness, aching, misery, despond and despair caused by flu were just far too horrible to contemplate ever having again.
So I’m therefore looking forward to an injection given by someone else for once (ohh, luxury!) and a slightly aching arm. This is clearly more than fair recompense from protection from the oinking disease.
When I was a small child, many, many years ago I would occasionally have philosophical moments (well, as much as a seven year old can have philosophical moments) and wonder what the future would be like. Say in 2009. Hovercars would be pretty cool, entire meals in a pill would be great but, even then, I thought the traditional silver space suit would be perhaps a little impractical and perhaps somewhat dull.
Sadly, none of the things I imagined have come to fruition – we don’t holiday on the moon or travel through time like Doctor Who (which is probably a good thing, given the scrapes that can result from inadvertently opening worm holes in fourth dimensional black holes and messing with the space-time continuum (apparently)). So maybe we’re just living in a stagnant technological backwater of the early 21st century with little to show for the last 25 years.
Then I thought about swine flu for a moment. Back in April swine flu was a brand new strain of influenza that hadn’t been seen before. Now, by November, that new strain has been isolated, genetically sequenced, a vaccine has been engineered, thoroughly tested and is available in my local surgery. When I think for a moment about that I’m utterly amazed. That vaccinations can be made available to the public within 6 months of them turning up on the virus-scene is utterly flabbergasting.
Similarly with diabetes, in merely 90 years we’ve moved from the single option of slow, unpleasant death (never ideal) to having a choice of a whole range of artificially engineered insulins which work extremely well and give us pancreatically-challenged hoards pretty much a normal life. Similarly blood testing equipment and other accessories having moved on massively in recent years – tiny blood samples, three second results and so on. It’s genuinely amazing.
We might not live on the moon, like I imagined at 7, but – by crikey- when you think about it for a minute we’re living in the future right now. Cool!