I could just offer my economic advice...
or are people trying to kill us?
or am I being too glib?
Hmmmm...probably. I tend to scoff at the masses when they lose perspective...or when they appear to lose perspective...or when the media tries to push a loss of perspective. I wonder if that last bit isn't the most true. Haven't seen a lot of panic around here.
So...YOU ARE HERE:
What this means is we have
human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.
If you read the page you see that it doesn't matter if we go pandemic or not from here. We've already got community infections in the U.S. and Mexico - it doesn't matter where else it goes within or outside our WHO region.
So I officially don't care if we have a pandemic or not. I want to not hear people say the word "pandemic" like they have one in their neighborhood. Because what they really have is a virus.
I guess we'll see some widespread infections...infections with what?
Streiffer said it's important to keep the threat of swine flu in perspective. It's a new strain of influenza, so people haven't built up immunity and vaccines won't block it, but there is no indication that it is any more virulent or dangerous for normally healthy people than the more typcial strains of flu.
"What people don't seem to understand is it's not worse than the average flu, except there's no herd immunity -- which means there's no immunity in the general population -- therefore, everyone's at risk, but not necesarily for anything more virulent or dangerous than average influenza."
Oh...so, we could be seeing lots and lots more of what looks and acts like the flu, a virus that killed slightly fewer people last year than automobile accidents. (h/t DrMomentum for the link!) Crap. I was hoping I'd get night after night of feverish dreams of Cyclopean cities of Titan blocks and sky-flung monoliths, all dripping with green ooze and sinister with latent horror.
So maybe the H1N1 virus is just the slugger the influenza team needs to get out of the basement and into a distant third behind heart disease. Then again, maybe not...we may just see a bunch of people on Nyquil and anti-virals (buy stock NOW!!). We have a pretty damned good track record against the flu here in America.
Would it suck to see a widespread outbreak of a flu few could avoid? Absolutely. By all means, I'm taking precautions for an extended flu season, especially with my younger children, and keeping myself informed. But beyond that it's biz as usual.
Oh wait, this just in...it's not a government plot! They've found patient zero!