H1N1: Has the World Overreacted to This Strain of Swine Flu?

No.

Even if the swine flu pandemic proves relatively mild, and does not result in global casualties greater than, say, a typical flu season, it is still good that governments are reacting as they are:

  • By reacting quickly, governments are getting a trial run to test their pandemic preparedness, and so are learning things that will make them more prepared for next time (should a more virulent virus strike over the next decade).
  •  By reacting quickly, governments are preventing the deaths of some people now, and have raised public awareness with regard to the threat of pandemics.
  • By reacting quickly, we will probably have a vaccine for this strain of swine flu in the Fall, and should it become more virulent this winter, vaccinations can slow its spread.

This today from the AP:

South Korea reported Asia’s second confirmed case — a woman just back from Mexico — and other governments also prepared to quarantine passengers, eager to show how they have learned from the deadly SARS epidemic in 2003, when Hong Kong was criticized for imposing quarantines too slowly.

The world is on a learning curve. The global response to this strain of swine flu has not been an overreaction. So for at least another ten days or so, keep up the frequent handwashing.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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3 Responses to H1N1: Has the World Overreacted to This Strain of Swine Flu?

  1. Im almost too scared/paranoid to even go out on my B-DAY MAY 4TH, if soo, i guess ima have to wear a sugical mask like Michael Jackson, and a SPACE SUIT! cuz i aint fin to catch no SWINE FLU, ha! and i swear i use soo much soap i think im wasting bottles. But u must stay sanatized.

  2. mrmacboo says:

    All of the above points are speculative, just like all the so called “precautions” taken by governments. There is no proof that any government intervention can even make a dent in the spread of an influenza. This season has been no more alarming than any other, it just so happened that this year a new strain was found. In the meantime vaccination mandates and school suspensions have stirred up fear and threatened civil order (mandates have violated US law to boot.) Growing numbers of people actually believe that H1N1 is a man-made conspiracy! Vaccines are guesswork and even IF they do work there is simply not enough made to matter. Meanwhile the CDC and other government agencies are loosing credibility at their own peril. For more info read Chicken Little.

  3. santitafarella says:

    Mr. Mac:

    Proof? Eh, have you heard of polio? Vaccination obviously works, and there has been enough vaccine produced to slow or halt the spread of the virus. Go to Walgreens or CVS this week, and get your shot. Doctors wouldn’t be saying to do it unless it were a beneficial public health measure. Rise to the existential occasion. Don’t be a coward and a misanthrope. Think about the children and pregnant women in your community. “No man is an island. Each is a part of the main.”

    —Santi

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