Monday, May 04, 2009

Swine Flu 3 panic and stupidity

One week after the swine flu burst onto the public scene, the public seems to be in full blown panic mode. I just saw on the news that school closings in TX are double the known cases of the virus, meaning that most of the schools closed have not experianced an outbreak. Public events and entire sports venues canceled. (OK, I heard that last cancelation got nixed)

There may be some signs that the panic is slowing, but around the corner is a whole new outbreak to panic about. Again, closing schools, canceling events or otherwise radically changing your behaviour before the first case in your area is panic. And the next panic, already underway, about the new strain of flu, already found in Canada, may severly damage and entire segment of the economy. One more time: you can't get this from eating pork (unless you are eating a live pig - and then I think the pig would likely bite you back) .

Here is a good resource for information on this flu pandemic. One of the articles about the pandemic panic says it well:

"When a pandemic hits, you deal with it using the resources you've got. Like an unexpected invasion, it's a "come as you are" event. The trick is to foresee the pandemic and to build up the personnel, equipment, and organization to stop it.

But if your response to the threat of pandemic is to be stupidly sanctimonious, all your planning will be in vain."

Good wording. Overall though, on a personal level, what the government or public at large does will have little effect on whether you get the flu or not (though it may delay you getting it for some weeks). Your own behaviour will be the biggest factor in whether you get it, that and total random chance. Using good sence, like washing hands and keeping your kitchen area clean, will go a long way. Other than that, your best bet is to be prepared in case it does come to your house.

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