Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swhy-not (or... Swine Not)?

There sure has been a lot of talk about the Swine Flu. The alert level has been raised and news channels are asking if a global outbreak is imminent. As I understand it, there are about 3000 confirmed cases of the the Swine Flu. It has killed about 150 people. Am I wrong to be blase about this? It's the FLU. The flu can kill you if you don't catch it. Diabetics are especially susceptible.

There are two "probable" cases in Columbus. It will be a few days before we know if it is confirmed as swine flu. I had to take Jack to the doctor today. He was running a low grade fever, not sleeping, no appetite and coughing/sneezing. Now I am wondering, by taking him to the doctor's office, could he have possibly picked up something worse? Well, that is always a possibility, but is the swine flu really worse than any other kind of flu? It doesn't seem like it, other than it is really contagious. So I guess that is why I'm not really panicked.

The most "interesting" theory I have heard comes courtesy of my certifiable sister-in-law. She thinks that it is now small coincidence that Obama just left Mexico, where the swine flu originated. HER theory is that Al Quaida released the virus while Obama was in Mexico and he brought it back with him. So there you have it. That's how they're gonna get us - Al Quaida is sending the pig bug home on Air Force One with The Prez. Of course, she also swears that she saw on CNN that one of the president's body guards dies of the swine flu. Like I said, she is certifiable.

So here is my question - why are we more concerned about a flu that has killed 150 people than AIDS, which has killed millions over a period of decades? Is it because it isn't in our backyard? It isn't infecting OUR kids (anymore)? Where is the panic and outrage over that epidemic?

My delusional mother (who is purchasing a handgun because she feels the government is out to get her) thinks i don;t understand the history. She believes things like Cholera and the Bubonic Plague have killed more people than AIDS ever has and that the swine flu is comparable to those other plagues and THAT is why the government is panicking - they know we are due for an "Outbreak" type of situation that kills millions worldwide. That is my mom's theory anyway.

I don't have a theory yet. Just lots of questions. I don't blame you for being cautious and I don't blame you for paying just a modicum of attention to it. I'm not sure what to make of it yet.


Bass Is Life said...

I couldn't agree more. Is it something to be concerned about? Sure. But news agencies have ad space to sell. The more they can keep us glued to the TV, the more money they make.

That is hilarious (and frightening) about your SIL's Obama theory. Of course, he does love him some terrorists you know.

Jenny Penny said...

I think, for me, it's the comparisons to the flu outbreak in the early 20th century -- how that one started, mildly enough, and its fatality rate as compared with this one. This one apparently is killing off a much higher percentage of infected individuals than that one did. And I think what's also worrying me is the fact that I have a baby, whose immune system hasn't been exercised much in his short life. He's had, like, one cold? Then there's my chill husband, who never worries about anything. I asked him to day if he's freaking out just a little inside, and he nodded yes. The only other time I can remember him freaking out a little with his total freak-out of a wife was when we lived in DC, and the beltline sniper was on the loose. It's not that the odds of getting killed are high; it's just the volatility of the situation, I guess.