Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Time is Ticking and Sleep is Lacking

Well time is ticking and sleep is lacking.

I am here today on 2 hours sleep. A combination of full moon, moving anxiety and general how do I get everything done. Positively I am now enrolled at University in what looks to be a very full on traveling time in the first semester (traveling to varsity daily) and a not so hectic traveling time in the second semester.

This of course does not include what is happening at classes wise at seminary. This year of study is as much about filling study prerequisites both theological and general education wise with next year there being more freedom of choice. So study looks at the moment like this.
Semester 1
THEO 103 Reading the Bible
BSTHEO 175 Introduction to Greek
THEO 100 Beginning Theology in Aotearoa New Zealand
POPHEATH Epidemics Past Present and Future

This health paper fulfills my requirements for general education and is so up my ally it is not funny. Call it non theology reward. As some of you know I have a few dark interests including criminal, forensic, and general psychiatry and the human response to epidemics and pandemics. With that in mind I think you agree that this course is me.

POPLHLTH 103G Epidemics: Past, Present and Possible
This course explores the concept of the epidemic – the emergence of diseases or conditions affecting many individuals at the same time. Examines epidemics caused by micro-organisms, environmental contaminants, lifestyle choices and self-harming behaviours. Covers infectious epidemics from black death to bird ‘flu, examines modern day
examples such as obesity, diseases of urbanisation and problem gambling, and explores the concept of social contagion, from nun-biting to alien abduction.

Course Objectives
• To demonstrate an understanding of the nature and cause of different types of epidemics.
• To have an awareness of the historical background of epidemics and an
understanding of contemporary epidemics in New Zealand and world-wide.
• To have a more detailed understanding of actions that might be taken by society to monitor, manage and prevent one modern epidemic.

What are epidemics?
• Introduction: Black death, Roman goblets and medieval nunneries
• Geography’s contribution to epidemiology
• Immunology: defending against disease

Infectious epidemics past
• Historical context
• Piercing memories
• 1918 Influenza epidemic
Infectious epidemics present
• Vaccine controversies
• If I was a vaccine preventable disease I think I would choose to be whooping cough
• Home Grown Solutions: Control of group B Meningococcal Epidemic in NZ
• Tuberculosis
Infectious epidemics into the future
• Possible pandemics
• Ebola and SARs
• History denied is history repeated
• Bioterrorism

Epidemics of chronic disease: Gluttony, indolence and melancholy?
• The obesity epidemic
• Type II diabetes
• The rise and fall and rise of the coronary heart disease epidemic
• Rise of chronic disease in Maori
• Smoking – a modern epidemic that is protracted, severe and legally sanctioned
• Depression: all you ever wanted to know
• Rise & fall of various addictions
• Recreational drugs
• An epidemic of gambling

Environmental epidemics
• Sun exposure
• Road crashes
• Epidemics of urbanisation
• Falls in the elderly

Social contagion
• Nun-biting, mass anxiety hysteria and merphos poisoning in Auckland?
• Demons, aliens & Satanists

Bringing together the strands: historical, contemporary & possible future contexts in NZ &

So there you go! I have for some time been interested in the Church response to crisis and am most interested in planning for how we as a church may respond to the next big health crisis.

Not much more to write I am afraid mind too sleep deprived


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