Thursday, January 09, 2014

In the Isolation Bubble

I had company over the weekend, my daughter and her beau.  They caught the ferry back to the mainland Sunday morning.  Tuesday morning he awoke with the flu.  His doctor didn't think he had the respiratory symptoms of H1N1 so he was sent home and told to get to emerg if his temperature hit 40C.  That happened yesterday and the young fellow was quickly taken in at Vancouver General.  It is indeed H1N1.

When I got the word Tuesday morning, I went into self-isolation.  Now it's a matter of waiting.  Public info from the CDC and other sources indicates he probably wasn't contagious until the day before the symptoms appeared - "more or less."  Incubation is three to four days - "more or less" - up to seven days.

Today, therefore, is Day Four on the incubation clock.   No symptoms today and I should be good to go.  It's one of the nice things about life as a hermit.  Avoiding contact with others isn't all that difficult although I do have friends that I do see regularly.  Just not now.

My daughter met Bryan at Columbia.  He's Chicago born and raised.  He came to Canada just over a year ago.  A few months before he left the U.S. he came down with a severe respiratory infection.  He was working at the time and had what he understood to be gold-plated healthcare coverage. 

When he wanted to go for medical treatment he did what Americans do - he contacted his insurer for authorization.  The insurer didn't hesitate to approve treatment after reminding him that there was a $75 co-pay for the first visit and a $2,000 deductible on any treatment.  Being freshly out of school he was working two jobs at the time.  One was an unpaid internship.  The second was barely more remunerative.  He figured he couldn't afford the deductible so he opted to avoid seeking medical help until two weeks later when it finally became bad enough that he had no choice.

He's not alone.  His dilemma is quite familiar to plenty of people in the US.  He had an interesting time adjusting to Canadian healthcare when he reached BC. 

The point is that we really need to appreciate just what we've got and the best way to do that is to peer over the fence and see just what it's really like on the other side.  Obamacare is a start but don't let anybody talk you into settling for the same thing here.  Just don't.


karen said...

Oh you are so right here. It just kills me to think about situations like Bryan's in the states. Somehow he seems to have managed the situation, but how many can't? I don't understand how it is even possible that I read so much resistance to a decent system there.

Hope you stay well!

LeDaro said...

Mound, I hope Bryan feels better. I don't think you will catch it. If there is no direct physical contact I think you should be ok as handshake won't infect you.

What scares me that Harper government is trying to privatise the healthcare. Few days ago there was a discussion on CBC's Power and Politics and Govt. Rep kept saying it was up to to the provinces. If I remember correctly he also said it works well in U.S and you don't have to be on the waiting list if it is private.

The Mound of Sound said...

I'm pretty sure that I'm okay, LD. If I'm wrong, though, it won't be me who pays the price for it so I'll give it an extra day or two since I can.

Karen, it's going to be some time before we know how well Obamacare works out. There is such a powerful effort underway to subvert it.

This fellow told me that in the lower-middle class neighbourhood he grew up in, it's ingrained in people that you simply don't go to the doctor. He said that's going to be tough for those people to get over even if they do sign up for Obama's programme.

I'm convinced that Canada's national healthcare system is a big part of the glue that holds us together as a nation and as a people. I'm also convinced that's precisely why those who want to privatize our healthcare are so obsessive about it in the face of a contrary public will. They want to take us apart.

Dana said...

They're doing a pretty good job of taking us apart too. Now that a couple of provinces have signed on, Alberta and BC, they should be able to accelerate the process too.

On Friday last I dropped in to my local Shopper's Drug Mart and got a flu shot. I don't as a rule but as of that day 10 deaths in Alta and 1 in Vancouver...I figgered the odds weren't forever in my favour.