she’s a supergeek, supergeek (she’s supergeeky)

A fresh MMWR in my mailbox, hooray! Not every girl gets excited about epidemiology, but I do. I’ve always wished I could be a doctor. If there were one STEM field for me, it would be medicine, especially epidemiology. This is why I had a crush on Matthew Modine in seventh grade: because he was Don Francis in And The Band Played On. I also get a kick out of PRAMS being an abbreviation for something monitoring pregnant women. Obviously whoever came up with that one was English. (Or so obliviously not English.)

Case studies keep me up at night, feverishly crunching numbers: what does this mean? Where’s the pattern? Once, the answer was “he forgot to account for the other cases in the articles to which he linked”, a mistake because I do not read nearly as selectively as he did. I read what I’m given, I interpret the data, and I conclude that no, the point’s not been made nearly as solidly as the… pointer… wished.

I translate modern medicine into fantasy settings. It excites me to consider what a healer would have to do to diagnose, let alone save the patient, and where magic might become applicable. SARS in a setting that is barely Enlightenment-level in terms of science? Plot point!

On a complete tangent, tomorrow is St Crispin’s Day.

So, according to my CDC emails, today is World Polio Day, and isn’t it sad that we still need one of those? Can’t we do better? — Of course not; this is the age of “keep your lifesaving vaccinations out of my body”. People may have been scared enough of smallpox to get scratched, or just aware of what it could do. I don’t think we understand the implications of polio anymore. There’s no excuse not to vaccinate where it won’t do more harm than good. I know some people are allergic to the vaccine, and others are immunocompromised. That’s why we jab: to protect the people who can’t be protected in any other way. To eradicate the nasties so they only live in labs under lock and key.

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