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.