"The swine flu is a pandemic now," my mother said in a concerned tone. I gave her my typical "oh please" look.
"It's a big deal. There hasn't been a pandemic in over forty years."
I had no idea what a pandemic was, and I also had no real idea how big this swine flu thing was. I know people talk about it constantly, but I avoid the news in general.
So I looked up how many people had died from the swine flu. We just topped one hundred deaths in the United States.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
How in the world is anyone worrying about this? Let's be generous and say that one hundred people died in a month from the swine flu (it's actually been longer than that).
In that same period of time more than a thousand people died from tobacco use. Ten times the deaths, but swine flu is all over the news. Almost two hundred people died from anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. I didn't even know people died from those.
Yet we all know about the swine flu. The bird flu from a few years ago was the exact same sort of thing - only about one hundred people died.
We all know that wasting time is bad and that wasting money is bad, too. What about wasting our focus, getting sidetracked by hyped up issues like swine flu that are wholly insignificant?
(on the plus side, pork consumption went down because people incorrectly thought that it could cause swine flu)
"When winter comes this flu will spread like wild fire"
it's winter in the southern hemisphere. where's the wildfire? it's normal flu season stuff down there.
Weak post that is prompting even weaker discussion. Writing every day and upping your hits is just a vanity metric.
I'd rather read one of your old posts again than constantly have to sift through this new drivel. Check out this article on falling victim to the "new" craze:
Perfection is not adding more on, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Swine flu is definitely effect people more than the normal hyped up pandemic. I had swine flu; it sucked. I don't think that I've ever had normal flu before, so swine flu was a pretty different experience.
How many people have died from regular flu in the last month or more?? I guarantee you its more than 100. I am glad that the hysteria has at least died down a little over the past few weeks...
So swine flu is good because it stops people from eating meat??? That kind of holier-than-thou posturing is why people, rightly or wrongly, hold such a negative opinion of vegans.
I don't care about the swine flu, thus I know nothing about it. It really isn't worth the trouble. The point of this post is to not worry about it. It might be a problem but it's not worth stressing over. Recently a recruit died in basic training in the air force from a flu. Not related to the swine flu, it's actually 'adenovirus 14'.
Adenovirus are common during military bootcamp, should I be scared? No. The ratio is probably near the same as the swine flu. It's just not worth worrying about. The chances of catching it isn't worth the stress so simply put "It's not that big of a deal"
You are right, about stats but it doesn't mean that we should not stop the spread of swine flu. Some basic hygiene practices can help slowing down spread of swine flu. Yes panicking will not make general public any safer, but drug companies need to make vaccine before flu season. And public needs to be informed that this flu season, young and healthy should get flu shots too.
You are sort of way off your mark here. First, if h1n1 jumps to a new strain, literally, no one will be leaving their house, and a lot of people will die there.
If anything, the media us under covering this. Just because there are not a lot of deaths, and you can find stats that more people die in a hour form farting too hard, does not mean that the potential for this to outbreak is not there.
I suggest you read the article by the scientist who first discovered h1n1.
This is not about where it is now, and all about what it could turn into, and how completely underprepared we are for it if it does.
We know little to nothing about it, and there are blog posts like this, that spit out a cut feeling based on logic to them, but not logic within the scientific community.
I have a friend who works close to this at the CDC, I am told, he can not tell me anything specific, but that this is not something to just brush off, and the CDC is not happy at all about the news coverage.
Tobacco deaths and car accidents are not contagious. The bird flu is a good example, where we were prepared and helped to stop it's spread, this is a case where the opposite is going as, as we do not know how to vaccinate for it.
All fires start out small. I thought you were all about research, all about your spend the day to figure out how to do accounting, immerse yourself into it, and here you are, posting a blog post that in reality, you should delete, and write again after you stop being like the rest of the news stations out there.
This is simply an easy payout for the media. It really shouldn't be anything to scare like the media portrays it to be. I heard that at the peek of the media frenzy that the best selling items on amazon was face masks.
The media is scaring everybody just so they can make money.
It is true that the media needs to hype the danger, but that doesn't mean there isn't a danger. After all 63000 people die annually from seasonal flu in the US alone. So even if swine flu is no worse than regular flu when the fall season comes, it would still kill an awful lot of people. This is particularly worrisome when you consider that swine flu seems to hit young people much harder than regular flu. As far as Avian flu goes, the danger is that it has a high fatality rate, so if it does jump the deaths could be orders of magnitude above seasonal flu. So considering the other dangers being hyped in the news, like the latest toxin scare, or birdstrikes on planes, swine flu is downright legitimate.
This is part of an ongoing series. If you haven't read them already, read :
I wrote out this entire post before, and then the computer crashed and I lost it all, so I haven't felt like working on it. Finally, I'm biting the bullet and starting over :
"When the Chernobyl nuclear reactor began to melt down, a lot of people were brought in to help to clean up the mess. At the time I was working with the local fire department, under Lieutenant Volodymyr Pravik. I had only been on for a couple of weeks, and at the time it had seemed this would be a nice station. Nuclear energy was supposed to be safe. It was supposed to be easy work. But when the call came in, we were spared many of the full details. Had we been told the truth, I think some of us would have hesitated. We were not informed of what had happened, that the reactor had been compromised. It all seemed normal at first, and we managed to put out the fire in a little under three and a half hours, a small amount of time considering how big it got. But our celebrating, even reserved, was short. By the time we had realized what had happened, many of us were already dead.
The Lieutenant died ten days later, and was declared a hero, though his death from radiation burns felt empty to me. By that point we had discovered what had happened, how we had been exposed to high levels of radiation. At first it seemed the Lieutenant and a select few others would be the only ones to die. But they weren't. Most of the rest died too, some with dignity, and some in a way closer to the way I imagine a normal person dies.
Many of them said that exposure to radiation made you taste metal, and that there was a sensation of pins and needles on their skin. It was only later that I understood that these were signs of fatal levels of exposure to radiation. We didn't know just what we had done, the amount of people we had saved. It wasn't until later that we discovered how bad things were. By then, I didn't care much.
We were eventually relieved of our duties, though some of us stayed on. We were dead anyway. Most figured they had nothing left. I didn't though. I wanted to go away, as far as I could from the disaster. Back to my wife. Back to my family. They used those fucking gieger counters to measure the level of radiation we had been exposed to. They told this information to my family. To my wife. My wife left me. Said I was “dirty.” When she died months later I could not bring myself to go to her funeral.
Time passed. The disaster became news. I continued to be sick, but I didn't not die. In my head, I heard that gieger counter clicking away. Sometimes it would get so bad that it was all I could hear. Everything tasted like metal, and that strange sensation on my skin required me to take medicine to keep it from driving me crazy. The doctors told me it was survivor's guilt, but they didn't really get it. Me being alive wasn't something that I regretted. It was something I couldn't understand.