Swine flu numbers continue to climb in New Zealand - especially Northland. There are 120 people in hospital with the flu. Ten are in intensive care. My friend Gary's daughter is one of them. She began with relatively mild flu symptoms, but decided to go to the hospital when she started to cough up blood. After the examination she was put in an induced coma and isolated. She is 36 years old.
My wife's executive assistant has been off work for the past ten days. He thought he was getting better and then the flu came back with a vengeance. He has lost consciousness a couple of times and is being cared for by his sister. He has not seen a doctor. He is 32 years old.
Our next door neighbour's eldest teenage son is in quarantine at home. My grandson's pal is beginning to have symptoms. What began as an abstract news item has begun to hit closer home. I imagine it's only a matter of time before the flu enters my inner circle. I am not worried for myself, but this disease seems to find strength in the young and I worry for my children and grandchildren.