The whole country's just full of people who when these things happen say "these things happen" and that's why they happen. - Ethel Merman from the 1963 film, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad WorldSo...I'm going to have to be one of those people today who says these things happen. And I'm talking about swine flu. What's the deal? What are people hearing that I'm not hearing about this flu? What I'm hearing is nothing that tells me swine flu is any more pernicious than regular seasonal flu, which kills 36,000 people in the US annually, and 500,000 around the world. Swine flu has been around since 1930. This new strain of the bug seems to respond to Tamiflu - of which the US holds at least 50-million courses. If all you people who aren't sick run out and use up the Tamiflu, then the 36,000 people who might get the flu and die won't be able to take it. So, how 'bout we stay calm? Nothing has been restricted (unless you're a member of the vice president's family) except unnecessary travel to Mexico. So, there go the summer plans for Cozumel. Time to freak out? You can't get the flu from eating pork - but you should try to resist that puckered up swine with the lipstick on. How many of you live near pig farms? Really? Did you hear Egypt slaughtered 250,000 pigs today? Oh my! This is not a bio terrorist attack. If it is, the terrorists are likely quite disappointed with the slow progress of the death plot and the easy tips for avoiding exposure to the virus. Really, friends - unless you're the mother of this little girl, and the photo below was taken on your family trip to Mexico, may I suggest you take a deep breath? If you just can't resist being caught up in the frenzy, at least promise yourself a daily check of the facts at factcheck.org. Here's the boring thing about facts, though - they don't change daily. So, if you just must stay agitated about the flu, watch the Wall Street Journal's health blog. At least the reporters at the WSJ seem more committed to relaying information than they are to making you stay tuned to their station for the next 10 minutes of commercials. (FYI-That's what those emotionally charged "up next" headlines on TV are all about.) And, if you just need a healthy, funny reminder of how quickly we go crazy...put It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World in your Netflix queue this week. Breathe. And wash your hands. Peace.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
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