Happy Mortal

This life, well-lived.

The Seahawks Get Protection (From The Flu)

Go Seahawks! No, the Hawks didn’t swindle the Dolphins by trading Deon Branch for Jake Long, but they did swindle 100 (give or take a few) locals out of their flu vaccine.

Swine flu is here, make no mistake. The H1N1 strain of influenza has swooped down on Seattle like Clay Bennet and his band of Oklahoma cowboys. Don’t worry, it won’t rip out your heart and feed it to a bunch of Oklahoma City vandals, but it just might kill you.

I don’t know quite what to make of the all the press surrounding this second round of H1N1. Is it the next great plague? Or, will it fizzle like the 1976 outbreak as Ron Paul suggests? Is it a genetically engineered monster built by Dr. Evil and disseminated by the Knights Templar to control population? Or, (for you conspiracy buffs) is it really the flu at all? Of course, there are some more reasoned voices on the web like Steven Novella. But then, voices of reason also thought that Thalidomide was a great idea too.

Simply put, lots of folks are getting sick, and even more are getting scared. Public Health officials have gone on record saying that there’s a vaccine that can help protect those most at risk. And according to an interview on KJR Seattle Seahawks team doctors told reporters (in a conversation I’m certain they wish they could take back) that the team has received the H1N1 vaccine.

Paul, I know your team has been injury plagued over the last few years, but using up vaccine on professional athletes when there is a national shortage is just in poor taste.

So, when your (and my) Seahawks go and and get pummeled this Sunday by the Cowboys, it certainly won’t be because they have the flu. It might be their offensive line, or their complete lack of a running attack, an aging quarterback, it might even be a GM who insists on building a team around undersized, injury prone, “character” guys… Our one hope is that the Cowboys won’t have the Seahawks secret weapon, flu vaccine. The thing is, (and this is the more important part) you probably won’t either.


  1. I was actually discussing something similar to this with a friend of mine. Ours was more about the possibility of college athletes getting the vaccine before the rest of the student body, but I still thing it makes sense for professional athletes. Athletes travel a lot, and all over the country, they are often in the age group that is high risk for H1N1, they interact with all kinds of people from coaches to teammates to fans. I think giving them the vaccine is less about protecting the athletes, and more about protecting the wider populace. I’m sure the not always full deserved status of a football player adds somewhat to why they think they should be special, but it certainly isn’t the only factor in play here.

  2. I’m glad you posted about this Rekon. I was just talking with a nurse from a Swedish hospital clinic (Seattle) who said that her in-laws have a special needs child, who hasn’t been able to get the H1N1 vaccine yet. This, despite being at a “high risk” of infection, and being registered in three hospital systems in King county.

    Ginny, I appreciate your point about athletes. I had actually not thought that much about this aspect. They do travel quite a bit and could bring back all sorts of bugs to their home city. Given this fact, here are my questions:

    1) H1N1 is already here in Seattle. So will giving the Seahawks the vaccine really do more to curb the damage caused by H1N1? Or, since it is here, should we make sure the people who are most likely to die from H1N1 get the vaccine? [This is actually not a rhetorical question, I am sincerely asking].

    2) Wouldn’t it make more sense to give the vaccine to college athletes, who actually spend time within a large student body? Where do all the Hawks live? Why not, say, UW athletes first?

    3) How did the Seahawks get the vaccine? Did they pay? Who did they pay? Were they first on the list? What list? This would make a difference. Are we talking about the priorities of the city of Seattle? The ability of the wealthy to have better access to health care? A master plan to protect King county?

    Personally my money’s on Dr. Evil and the Knights Templar.

  3. Interesting points. Like window suggested, that makes much more sense to me in the case of a college campus. But with the Seahawks, who fly everywhere on a private jet, and interact with the masses through walls of meat in suits, it’s hard for me to swallow that vaccinating the Seahawks was for the public good.

  4. All good questions. I did some digging after I heard the interview and couldn’t find anything about it in the actual press. Not sure if no one considered story-worthy, or if it just got hushed up quickly. Seems though, that if your Paul Allen, you can get your hands on a little vaccine of you want it.

  5. Maybe I should call him up and ask for a hit.

  6. It makes sense to me that in a country so afraid of socialist medicine no one would want to talk about money buying health.

    I guess there are two questions to ask:

    1. If we are so against health care for everyone why are we bothered by the elite buying it.

    2. Is small batch medicine best used to keep the strong/healthy sickness free, or is it there to keep the sick alive a little longer?

  7. 1. I think that’s just the thing, “they” most likely aren’t bothered, but there is a minority of us that is not convinced that health care is a commodity. Right now I’m not sure that congress is willing to change that, which means that it’s a sad day for health care “reform” in the United States.

    2. With this disease that’s not really a strict dichotomy. It’s targeting the young and healthy, and spreading rapidly within that demographic.