You aren't paranoid if they're really out to get you.
I had intended to get the H1N1 flu vaccination as soon as I was able. Not being part of one of the priority groups, I had anticipated that I'd have to wait two weeks or so after the initial rollout, when they'd start vaccinating the general public.
Except that the deployment of the vaccine in New Brunswick, as in most locations across Canada, has been a ridiculous hot mess. People not part of the priority groups, like parents of kids taken for vaccination, and just members of the general public who ignored the priority group designation and lined up, got vaccinated. Then, last week, we got the news that we were going to get far less of the vaccine than had been anticipated because Glaxo-Smith Kline, the sole manufacturer of the vaccine for Canada, had some kind of production issues. That led to dozens of clinics for priority group members being closed outright in Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton.
Ordinarily this wouldn't be such a concern - most people are recovering from relatively mild cases of H1N1 and if I got sick, I got sick. But we're planning on traveling before Christmas, and suddenly the prospect of getting H1N1 just before a trip we've put a significant amount of money down on is genuinely alarming.
I'm now getting downright paranoid about getting infected... obsessively using hand sanitizers that are everywhere in public spaces, and carrying a bottle in my purse for frequent touch-ups. There's one under the elevator button on the ground floor at work, and I suddenly thought, "Eww! How many people touch that button every day?" (Sanitize, sanitize.) I had to visit our IT professional last week and found myself horrified that she was coughing. "I'm sorry," she said, "this started out as just a headcold." What the hell did that mean? What was it turning into? I found myself sitting back as far as I could in the chair across from her desk. I also sidled away from my boss at a lunchtime meeting in our boardroom because he was sitting with a box of tissues in front of him - until I realized he was using them as napkins to clean his fingers while eating a sandwich.
Every person I encounter now is perceived as a potential carrier, a ticking time-bomb of potential FLU GERMS. I'm becoming an H1N1 hypochondriac.
Well, if being a temporary loony hypochondriac keeps me healthy until we take our trip, maybe that's a good thing. H1N1 is real, and it's here. But I don't really like assessing every person who sits next to me for symptoms.
I'll be glad when this is over. It will be over - right?