1. SURVIVAL GUIDE Pandemic Flu: A Guide to Last Minute Preparations
You know that crazy neighbor, the one with turrets and razor wire on his estate, five big pitbulls, a basement full of beans and rice, and suspiciously frequent deliveries from Artillery'R'Us? You always thought he was nuts, when he talked about flu being a scenario to end the world.
Swine flu is real, it's here, and we're going to have to deal with it. It's clear that this new flu is spreading person to person. Mexico has confirmed that they now have double-digit fatalities and hundreds of suspected cases. (Edit to add: Things are developing faster than I can keep up.
First off, people might not go to work, either because they've got the flu, they're too scared to show up, their workplace has been closed, or they've got to stay home because their kids are out of school. The results of this might include:
Utility plants (power, gas, water, sewage) left untended, and maintenance and routine chores neglected until they cease to function.
Nobody available to fix things that break: power lines, water mains, etc.
Public transit closed, either because there's no employees around to run said transit (or for quarantine reasons)
Farmers who can't farm, because they're sick or they can't get gas, diesel, propane, or supplies. Items stored in warehouses can't be distributed, including, potentially, food and medication and parts to fix things
Gasoline and diesel shortages
Retail and grocery stores closed
Additionally, local authorities may institute quarantines and closures. Either you may be unable to travel to get your groceries, or the groceries themselves may be stuck inside or outside of a quarantined area. (One would assume that the authorities will figure out how to safely get supplies delivered; one would also assume that there would be some chaos and bureaucracy involved. I'd rather not go hungry for a few days while they wrangle out the details.) It's the rare grocery store that stocks more than enough food for a day or two for a given area.And areas where large groups gather, including schools, retail stores, movie theaters, and nonessential businesses of any kind, may simply be closed to limit spread.
Quarantine is a real possibility.
Finally, a pandemic will put a huge stress on the economy. Businesses will go under. It's kinda hard to keep a cash flow going if you can't sell anything because both your customers and your employees are unable to buy anything because of illness, quarantine, or unwillingness to leave the house. And if people can't work because of quarantines and closures, they won't have money to buy things. Our economy is already a fragile house of cards. A pandemic would yank a few supporting aces out of the base, in unpredictable and potentially disastrous ways.
So. You need to prep in a hurry. What do you do? For those paranoid people you can readMORE HERE Now on to view #2....
2. WHY WORRY Journalist dies, oinking horribly, after failing to take Swine Flu seriously
Yeah, well I suppose there's always the risk but that's just the kind of crazy, devil-may-care guy I am. So here's my prediction: I'm not going to die of swine flu, you're not going to die of swine flu, none of your friends is going to die of swine flu, none of your Mexican pen pals is going to die of swine flu. Not even if we throw caution to the wind and refuse to wear one of those blue masks the World Health Organisation now seems to consider essential if we're not all to keel over going "Soweee. Soweee. Razorback. Oink. Aaagh!"
Obviously I don't wish to be callous about the estimated 80 Mexicans who have died of the pneumonia and respiratory illness associated with the disease so far. But 80 deaths in a country where around 4 million people die every year (mostly of less newsworthy things like heart disease, cancer, road accidents and bloody drug war shootouts) hardly constitutes the next Great Plague. So why do bodies like the World Health Organisation and functionaries like the Government's Chief Medical Advisor insist on talking the disease up as if it is?
Because this is what their government paymasters want them to do. As HL Mencken put it: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
Can you imagine the secret delight with which this swine flu threat is being greeted by embattled, increasingly unpopular leaders like Gordon Brown and Barack Obama? Besides distracting from their economic ineptitude, it enables them to pose as nurturing, caring father-figures-cum-men-of-action who are doing everything in their power to protect the health of their beloved people from this sinister viral threat.For those not worried you can read
MORE HERE Now on to view #3.......
3. My views: IT'S NOT NOW, IT'S LATER " Bait and Switch"
After reading everything I could find for several days about this swine flu, and having just listened to the WHO briefing. I am left with some nagging little problems. Firstly, anyone else a wee bit bothered that they have said "the virus cannot be contained, so we won't try to contain it" we just give up??? Now, my first thought was, Hey there, hang on a wee minute Mister "WHO" man. You just said that closing borders and restricting air traffic would NOT help to contain the virus. Say what??? Well, that makes NO sense to me! Actually, this thing is only a few weeks old, and only just broke into the US and other countries with only a handful of people actually infected so far. So, by telling people to keep traveling, this will surely spread the virus MORE!! Especially in close quarters on airplanes, breathing all that recycled air, touching seats and door handles that have already been touched by hundreds of other travellers (possibly infected) from all over the globe. This is a recipe for spreading this thing even more! So, why would they not want to make SOME attempt at containment at this early stage?UPDATED the panic is beginning, a report just out that people are flooding online pharmacies e.g. chemists, drug stores, for tamifluIt's every man for himself now. Step away from that keyboard, and nobody gets hurt:)
I immediately thought "money" Could it just be because of the global effect on the economy of a great many countries who would suffer financially if tourism and air travel were curtailed? Sure it would! Just think about how many airports there are in the world, airline companies, employees of air ports and airlines, catering companies, air traffic controllers, flight attendants,travel agents, tourism and tourists, millions of people worldwide have jobs associated with air travel. Not to mention the effect of ZERO tourism on countries worldwide. I believe this is the real reason they have not considered curtailing air travel and restricting borders.
Additionally, this meeting held by WHO today, began about 2PM my time, and it was expected to end in only an hour or two. Yet, it ended at 9PM my time, that's over six hours time for heavens sake! Could it be that all of those at this meeting were not all in agreement, and thus had to battle it out until they reached some consensus or were forced to agree with the "big boys" perhaps? Could it be that some of the members DID argue for an attempt to contain the virus and were argued down over the course of this 7 hour meeting? I wonder.
Here are my reasons for why they would choose to let this spread right now, rather than make any attempts to contain or curtail the virus at this time:
Our flu season is almost over in the north hemisphere. The south hemisphere is still in mid flu season though. Additionally, I read that this virus has a Strong chance of returning this winter with a vengeance. And for this reason I believe they are letting the virus go free now, during a "soon to be over" flu season. I think they are doing this so that they can study it now, for later.... I think they see this virus as a cause for real concern, just not now, but later this winter! By letting it go free now, infecting people, they can study how it works, see if people die or recover, and ultimately figure out how to make a vaccine possibly for winter as that would take months to do if at all possible.
So, I believe they are preparing for this winter, when the virus could return in our flu season and really kill many people in a huge pandemic of global proportions. I think the "powers that be" would have no qualms in allowing the virus to go free now to study,and if some people die then so be it, because the real threat is this winter.
Now, you may call me "conspiracy theory-ish" but that makes more sense to me than what I just heard at that briefing. Because if containment was a real issue, and the threat of an immediate pandemic with millions dying, then it would surely make sense to close or restrict air travel and borders IMHO.
So, there you have it, three differing views. And your view makes four:)