Monday Morning Minutes
All swine all flu all the time. I think most of the media coverage so far has been of the "if it bleeds it leads" variety but I did find a few things worth noting.
- For a bit of perspective on the potential pandemic consider,
Well up until WWII and the development of antibiotics and mass vaccinations, our forbearers suffered through plague after plague of such scale that they make even AIDS look trivial by comparison.
After discussing the yellow fever outbreak that devastated Memphis, Tennessee in the 1870s the blogger notes,
So yeah, Swine flu can be fairly nasty, and yeah it can spread fast thanks to modern transportation, but our forbearers wouldn’t even have noticed it as an annoyance. We should all be grateful we live in an age when such a minor communicable disease causes us concern.
- A bit more perspective,
Swine flu: nothing new
As of this writing, 80 people in Mexico have succumbed to swine flu. By comparison, the CDC estimates that 36,000 people in the United States die each year of influenza-related illnesses. And in spite of this, we in the medical community still have a hard time convincing people to get their flu shots. If you’re not afraid of influenza, then you shouldn’t be afraid of the swine flu. Even in the event that someone gets infected with swine flu, we have medications with demonstrated effectiveness against the strain that’s currently active
- Lessons from the last flu pandemic nearly a century ago,
How (and How Not) to Battle Flu: A Tale of 23 Cities
“What our study shows,” he continued, “is that interventions even without a vaccine can be effective in blocking transmission. What’s much less certain is whether society is prepared to bear the costs of implementing such intrusive and costly measures for the months that would be required to manufacture a vaccine.”
- Speaking of swine. Did you hear the one about the dude who asked a beauty queen a loaded question, got an honest answer, and then flipped out because he didn't like the answer and the fair weather friends who deserted her rather than stick up for a friend? Way to go people. You sure showed her.
- Buzzing the New York City skyline with a 747 jet and a couple of F-16s for a photo op (come on now), epic fail. Trying to blame the FAA for not giving information to the public that they were told was classified makes Charles Schumer (my senator y'all!) look like a flustered parent trying to cover for an errant child. I'm not sure which is more disturbing, that no one involved in making this decision realised the trauma inducing potential of this photo op or that no one cared how New Yorkers would react. Next time try photoshop okay. It's cheaper and won't give anybody flash backs.
- As the witch hunt begins, All I can do is shake my head. That and hope they don't decide to come for me too seeing as how conservative and right wing types are supposed hotbeds of potential homegrown terrorism and need watching.