July 27, 2009

About the Recent Swine Flu Outbreak in Jordan

It's all in the newspapers by now, 13 teenagers have come back with swine flu from a camp in Ajloun, the largest number of people to contract the disease at once so far. I know a couple of people who were at the camp so I have a second-hand account of the events.

Firstly the camp, organized by Christian churches, takes place each summer and a couple of times throughout the year, and most of the participants are about 16 or 17 with older leaders and supervisors present as well. After the camp ended on Friday, two of the participants tested themselves after coming down with the symptoms and were found positive, so all those who took part in the camp were brought to the Prince Hamza Hospital, and those with a temperature of 38 or higher were quarantined and had samples taken to be tested. The results take about a day to come out.

From what I heard, the parents and those who were kept at the hospital were very disappointed with the way things were handled. The hospital is not well-equipped, conditions are far from sanitary and the section where they stay is very understaffed, with only one doctor and two nurses. The parents struggled to find a doctor to answer their questions. It makes me wonder if we really are as ready to handle an influx of cases should they happen as the Ministry of Health has been saying.

Contrary to what's being said in the newspapers, there weren't any participants from the UK, and only one from the US and one from Lebanon, and both tested out negative, so till now the source of the outbreak is still unknown. And with 6 new cases discovered today, I doubt the disease can be contained any longer.

Anyhow, Tamiflu was distributed to those who tested out negative and their families as a precaution, and those who do have swine flu are quarantined and prohibited from seeing anyone for the next 5 days. They're all doing fine though, they've got their laptops, DVDs and cards to entertain them! If you're going to go down with swine flu you might as well end up with your friends, I suppose!

7amdella 3al salameh to all.

July 6, 2009

Free Hugs in Jordan!

Yes, yes, I'm a terrible blogger I know it. But this I just have to blog! Remember this video? It's one of my favorite videos ever. Well apparently the Sunny FM people got one of their employees to dress up in a ridiculously stupid costume and carry the Free Hugs sign around different places in Jordan, just like Juan Mann, the man who originally started the campaign. I kinda wish I would've bumped into them, but man what's with the costume?

But Jordanians, you need to get better at the hugging business. Maybe what we needed was a free cheek-kissing campaign. Now that we would be good at! Anyway kudos for Sunny for thinking this up! And for the brave dude who went around Jordan offering hugs. Maybe the purpose of the costume was protection against being beaten up? Kidding, kidding, we're very friendly people. Most of the time.