A very quick presentation on influenza

I gave a very quick presentation today at our Zoonotic Disease Update. The presentation was on the public health response to a novel influenza virus situation. It was the first part of a two-part presentation on the H3N2v situation from last year. I didn’t record the second part. Sorry.

A couple of things about this presentation. It was short because it was the introduction to a longer presentation, and the whole program was running late. So I hurried it up a little bit. The other thing is that my grandmother passed the evening before. I was a little emotional, and I also didn’t get enough sleep. Furthermore, I wanted to mention my grandmother somehow in the presentation, so I got in a quick “joke” at the beginning. Finally, because I was short on time, I actually rushed through and you can tell that I was thinking too much where to splice what I was going to say. There’s even an awkward moment of silence.

All that said, plenty of people complimented me on the presentation, and plenty more congratulated me on my getting into the DrPH program. (The person introducing me mentioned it.) No one, however, mentioned to me that I had spilled pasta sauce all over my shirt at lunch. Oh, well.



2 thoughts on “A very quick presentation on influenza

  1. Dude, been there, done that.
    Had to give a class in emergency treatment when my wife as having a miscarriage. Did the same when my elderly father was ill. Did the same in warfare conditions, nearing 72 hours of no sleep and still bludgeoned my way through. In the latter case, I did advise the audience that I was distracted to to both exhaustion and major family health issues.
    In that last case, all present asked that the presentation continue to compensate for my distraction.
    I don’t recall much clearly, save that the vast majority knew how to suture as needed, knew inner and outer lumen for arteries and I do manage to recall the IV catheterization phase, as it’s long been my custom to take the weakest student, who actually comprehended the mechanics and medicine, to use me as the test subject (due to a lack of high tech, we practiced on one another). I talked said subject “down” from their near hysteria, explained that “you know your subject, just work and do it”, then guided them, on a few occasions, interrupting to show how to “fish” for a vein, guiding the insertion unit inside of my own arm. Subcutaneous tissue is notable for its LACK of pain receptors… 🙂
    Knowledge and competence makes service members manage to survive.
    For us, we did what we had to do to do our job and accomplish our mission.
    Something middling in civilian life, but absolutely necessary in military life.
    For we lay personnel, we do what we’re ordered or trained in. For SF, we do what we were trained in, what we learned theory in and preventative medicine and a bit more that remains classified, but not really interesting.
    For a first responder, things are less, erm, educated. Hence, the reliance on training and rote memory. Not the best, but beats nothing at all, or a scoop and swoop ambulance.

    It all really comes down to training, education and mental attitude.
    Something I learned the hard way, when tracing a food poisoning epidemic in a unit (mine), whilst suffering from food poisoning and helping the staff epidemiologist.
    We’ll suffice it to say that one head cook ended up becoming infantry out of the results, due to hard science.

    But, before and after, we got to do really cool things, like try to eliminate polio in small villages.
    My fondest memories from these wars.


    1. It’s funny how we’re able to compartmentalize and do things that need to get done even when we don’t feel like doing them, or we don’t feel that we can do them. I really, really didn’t want to go in front of an audience while inside my heart was breaking. (I didn’t write about what happened with my uncle. Maybe I will some day.) But I had to. There was no other option but to buck up and do it.


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