Flu vaccination. Photo © U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District, via flickr & Creative Commons

With the annual flu season underway, the annual influenza-related controversies are also making the rounds.

They started last summer, with problems at Canada’s main flu-vaccine production facility in Quebec. A shortfall of vaccine doses resulted, forcing the Canada’s Public Health Agency to place orders with other suppliers.

By the start of flu season in November, it became known that this year’s flu-vaccine missed the virus bull’s eye. The World Health Organization decides each spring which strains of influenza to target in the year’s vaccine. It selected one strain of Influenza B and two strains of Influenza A in 2014. However, the A virus that has since come to dominate the season mutated, leaving the vaccine less effective….

Read the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist…. 

The Thinker. Photo © edillalo, flickr - creative commons

Not so long ago, the Occupational Safety and Health people performed their annual inspection of the safety imperfections of my workspace. Armed with clipboards, they flicked the lights on and off, checked that the bookcases were still attached to the walls, and tsk’d at the four electrical cords plugged into one surge protector. They spent about five minutes in my office, then moved on.

The irony of it.

Oh, they ensured I won’t be buried under a pile of dictionaries and style guides in the event of an earthquake. They made a note to get someone in to fix the ceiling light. They even put an order in for a second surge protector, thereby keeping my computer, data and the rest of the building’s electrical supply safe.

But aside from asking if I needed a pedestal for my computer monitor, they ignored the biggest occupational safety and health risks associated with the work I do. They made no mention nor lifted a single eyebrow about how, for much of each day, I court early death.

Death by sitting….

Read the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist.