As I was standing in a ridiculously long, “fast” check-out line at the grocery store yesterday evening, an impatient gentleman shouted out to everyone waiting, “We can’t have a line like this! After all, it’s the Swine Flu Pandemic!”.
Perhaps in this man’s mind he thought his plea would be a ploy to speed up the line (Wait time a total of seven minutes, not that bad and you only have three items in your basket sir, some stockpile. And Mister, the cashiers making ten bucks an hour don’t give a flying **** what you shout!). Or sadly, this man is a fine example of what happens to someone who buys into the mainstream media’s “panic-demic” proportioned pandemonium. They become oafish Lemmings.
Seriously, is it just me or doesn’t it seem like there’s a new designer, potentially pandemic virus or disease that becomes a hot topic in the news every couple of years? Let’s revisit JUST the early 2000′s briefly, shall we? Off the top of my head… hmmm…SARS rings a bell, and there was that post(al) 9/11 Anthrax scare, for us East Coasters West Nile Virus was a bitch, ughh….with those nasty spray trucks spritzing all of Manhattan….what else, what else….oh, an Ebola outbreak in 2004 and something about a flesh-eating virus if I recall correctly. I’m sure I’m leaving something out…ah, the Avian flu!
And now we can add the Swine Flu outbreak of 2009 to that list! However, this isn’t the first swine influenza outbreak, add the Spanish flu of 1918, and the swine influenza of 1976 to that list. The 1918 – 1919 flu pandemic may have resulted from swine to humans (like what we have now) or the reverse. The evidence available at that time was unable to substantiate the matter. The Spanish influenza infected approximately one third of the world’s populace, killing about fifty million people. It sucked big time.
The 1976 U.S. outbreak claimed only one death from the flu and forty million U.S. citizens vaccinated. Conversely, the immunizations may have been the cause of 500 cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome claiming 25 deaths from severe pulmonary complications.
The 2009 swine flu is a new strain of H1N1 swine influenza that can adapt to humans and “spread more efficiently than previously known swine flu strains”. Latest reports say that it has infected 2,770 people globally resulting with 152 dead in Mexico and possible two here in the States. This new strain may be able to spread faster, however, according to this article & the CDC, about 36,000 people die EVERY year in the U.S from influenza. Other stats claim a higher number of 56,000 (quite a discrepancy, right?).
So to put this whole swine flu hysteria in perspective, it’s the flu and will most likely target the elderly, young children or people who are chronically ill. People, please use some freakin’ common sense AND manners. Don’t sneeze or cough on others, wash your hands regularly (like you always should!), clean busy surface areas in your home with chlorinated bleach (diluted please, and don’t drink it, duh) and keep bottled water on hand in case of an emergency.
Like everyone else I have no idea (pay attention, this is my disclaimer) what the future may bring, and this may become a pandemic. But unlike 1918, we have advanced medical and communications advantages. It pisses me off when you come across an article like this beauty that paints the swine flu like it’s the coming of the next black plague!
With Mexico’s tourism already hit hard by drug wars and the Atlantic Hurricane season just around the corner, it may be a fine time to start looking for cheap Mexican travel deals after this outbreak (and maybe a hurricane or two) blows over. Or even better yet – cheaper beachfront real estate!
For giggles I had to include this from Yahoo! Answers. It’s always helpful when twelve-year-olds give their perspectives. Not that mine’s much better. Anyway here’s the question:
Should I cancel my Mexico vacation?
My famliy is going on vacation to Mexico in a month. How serious is the swine flu outbreak? Should I cancel my vacation to Mexico (Cancun) and go somewhere else. What would you do?
No, you can always bring masks and wash your hands very often.
It’s gonna spread to America, anyways, so why not have some fun before you die?