All the hoopla and hype over
Remember Asian bird flu? SARS? None of the catastrophic results that had been predicted ever occurred. It comes down to staying calm and rational. You know that old saying "let cooler heads prevail", right? Seems that few people are keeping that perspective right now. Take a look at some of these statements from a recent AP article, World Takes Drastic Steps To Contain Swine Flu, and you'll see that every action being considered to "contain" H1N1 includes a contradiction.
...Egypt ordered the pig slaughter even though there hasn't been a single case of swine flu there and no evidence that pigs have spread the disease...
...Lebanon discouraged traditional Arab peck-on-the-cheek greetings, even though no one has come down with the virus there...
Officials in Hong Kong, which has no confirmed cases, said workers were scrubbing public toilets every two hours in an effort to improve hygiene...Experts, however, said it's debatable how much good disinfecting public places will do...
...governments worldwide have been distributing millions of face masks, even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and other agencies have questioned their effectiveness...
...Other measures, such as installing thermal cameras at airports to screen passengers from infected countries, are simply inconclusive. Scanners were set up across Asia during the SARS outbreak, but officials aren't sure they caught any cases. WHO says the usefulness of such devices is debatable...
So whatever you do, this story seems to be saying, it won't matter because it probably won't make a difference. But continue listening to us "experts" - we might not have the right answers, but we have a lot of them and one is bound to be correct. But whatever you do, do NOT rely on common sense! There is no cure for common sense.
And now for the worse part, something I bet very few people know about, and I guarantee something that isn't being reported on any news channel. Ready?
From the Sydney Morning Herald, online version, April 29, 2009: Only 7 Swine Flu Deaths, Not 152, Says WHO
A member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has dismissed claims that more than 150 people have died from swine flu, saying it has officially recorded only seven deaths around the world.
Vivienne Allan, from WHO's patient safety program, said the body had confirmed that worldwide there had been just seven deaths - all in Mexico - and 79 confirmed cases of the disease.
"Unfortunately that [150-plus deaths] is incorrect information and it does happen, but that's not information that's come from the World Health Organisation," Ms Allan told ABC Radio today.
"That figure is not a figure that's come from the World Health Organisation and, I repeat, the death toll is seven and they are all from Mexico."
Ms Allan said WHO had confirmed 40 cases of swine flu in the Americas, 26 in Mexico, six in Canada, two in Spain, two in Britain and three in New Zealand.
So we have two conflicting stories here - which one is correct? I'm inclined to believe the latter for two reasons: first, the WHO member is identified by name and is not the ubiquitous "anonymous source"; and second, because no one is reporting on this. It doesn't fit the "panic template". It isn't Headline News. It's not sensational enough. It doesn't establish a state of fear.
And if Vivienne Allen is unemployed next week, all the more reason to believe the second story than all the hype and spin that PanicMongers Inc is producing.
I, for one, am not buying what they're selling.
s/s to KrestaInTheAfternoon on Sydney Morning Herald story