Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Panic Boom


"The indication is that we will see a return of the 1918 flu virus that is the most virulent form of the flu. In 1918 a half million Americans died. The projections are that this virus will kill one million Americans in 1976."

-- F. David Matthews, secretary of health, education, and welfare talking about the Swine Flu in February of 1976 (and unwittingly reminding Americans 33 years later to keep things in perspective)

17 comments:

Fred said...

A great indicator of the general level of stupidity amongst the people is that some of them are actually falling for some bullshit posted on Twitter and actually blaming Twitter for it.

Stupid people shouldn't breathe.

celery said...

i am enjoying the fact that the panic and its behavioural advisories are making people less likely to spread and then give me the run-of-the-mill flu.

and regardless of how one feels about animal rights, it would be good if this made industry/government question the living conditions of agricultural animals and the potential disaster of trying to feed billions of people with meat. bird flu and mad cow haven't done the trick, perhaps this will help... or the next one.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Chez. The media up here in Canuckistan has been just as irresponsible in whipping up hysteria over this as the American media. Today was particularly instructive -- the Ottawa Citizen had a massive bold headline, "At The Ready", complete with a huge photo of someone wearing a mask. It was all about the WHO raising the threat level, the alleged unpreparedness of local hospitals, the whole bit. In the National Post (a national paper), however, in a much smaller article below the fold, there was a saner article, with experts acknowledging that this may not be the threat first imagined. (To quote your favourite Disney employee Miley Cyrus, "Ya think?") I know the media business is hurting these days, but surely to God they have some moral duty not to needlessly induce mass panic. (My wife had to reassure a 10 year old child yesterday at the school where she works that, no, we aren't all going to die of swine flu.)

Lorene said...

Ok, I would agree that the media is whipping up a bit of hysteria, but I certainly think it's better to be prepared and the raising of threat levels frees up funds in preparation in case this thing goes bad.

I had an older brother who died from Hong Kong flu. That was also a swine flu. Maybe a few hundred or even a few thousand deaths is no big deal to you, unless of course it IS you or someone you love.

DragonIV said...

If you're looking for a *good* source of info about the current status of this outbreak, check here.

While the MSM is blowing it way out of proportion, this does have the potential to be very serious. It makes sense to pay attention to it, but hardly worth freaking out over.

mcbexx said...

And how did the great swine flu pandemic of '76 turned out in the end?

I was six years old at that time, I hardly remember. I survived, I guess...

Benoit from Ottawa said...

With due respect, Anonymous from Canada, when I read your "I know the media business is hurting these days, but surely to God they have some moral duty not to needlessly induce mass panic", I thought "well, no, since when do media acknowledge having moral duties through their actions?"

It's always been the policy of various media, albeit to varying extents, to whip up news into a lather. Think back to the black-and-white tabloids, and even to television traditionnally. Think of t.v. now, with its Glenn Becks and other over-the-top alarmists.

Standards had already eroded in all fields (Savings-and-loans, Enron, the current mortgage fiasco, Madoff); and now, in this reality-show-and-web-virals age, well...

Nobody self-polices anymore. (Hell, even the U.S. government under Bush II ceased doing its jobs in many fields.) It's get away with what you can, allatime.

One can hope, but it feels like foolish hope.

Benoit from Ottawa said...

On a lighter note, last night, Jon Stewart was hilarious in his description of some (Canadian?) program colouring our entire country RED because of 5 detected cases.

See utoob, it's all in the delivery.

VOTAR said...

In preparation for the coming pandemic, we have raised the threat level from Blackwatch Plaid, to the cover of Rush's seminal album, Moving Pictures.

Bill White said...

Ah, the Dominant Liberal Media culture is trying to make a few bucks off of this story because they know that even without catching the flu, they're thankfully dying anyway.

But, this is a lesson for you SPs. Y'all need to stock up on canned foods, cash, fuel and weapons in case of something like this or Islamists who will come to attack us. Is this enough to wake you McFlys up?

Oh and Chez, I graded the president on my blog.

God Bless,
Bill Orvis White

Tania said...

I went to my doctor with swine flu - he gave me some oinkment!

*rimshot?*

Deacon Blue said...

Tania, shouldn't he have prescribed some antiswineotics?

(Such a bad joke should karmically cancel out my caption in the other post, thus returning me a state of balance.)

drater said...

Bill W said: "Y'all need to stock up on canned foods, cash, fuel and weapons". What, no pants?

Beckylooo said...

Though I know the cable news yahoos are in overdrive with their "we'reallgonnadie!" coverage, I've yet to talk to an actual human being who gives a shit. Are they out there?

Riles said...

http://thesuperficial.com/2009/04/heidi_spencer_honeymoon_in_mex.php

Stop the presses: we just found the real ground-zero for the pig flu.

Chez said...

Literally, Patient Zeroes.

Anonymous said...

I see Joe Biden has now gotten in on the panic-stoking act, proving that ignorance truly is bi-partisan.