April 30th, 2009


Swine Flu

I have to confess, I'm a little bemused by the whole Swine flu thing. I've been reading up on some of it, and watching the news, and despite the fact that they keep saying 'Don't panic, it could still fizzle out in a couple of weeks like Sars did' people seem to be panicking. I don't know if this is just human nature or something else, but it's annoying.

However, the most annoying thing of all? Human supidity. They announce that there's a potentially deadly disease in Mexico, so what happens? Reporters are sent there to go and check it out. They fly back all people from other countries who were on holiday there and they keep flights going back and forth. Lets stop for a moment and think about this. Why would you send reporters to an area with a disease like swine flu? Can't you just put them infront of a blue screen and let them talk about it? One guy yesterday was trying to get in (with his camera crew) to see different things, and was surprised that the Mexican man there wouldn't let him in. Good on you Mr Mexican man! I know this reporter had a mask on, but does he fail to realise that germs stay on clothes for a few hours as well. There are even adverts on the TV that say this now! Use a tissue then wash your hands!
In the same vein, flying people to and from Mexico seems a little silly to me. I'm not for one minute saying that we should have left all the British peoples over there, but thinking logically, it's no surprise that swine flu has reached the UK. To be fair, I'm glad I didn't have to make the decision on what to do, but the same has happened elsewhere, and then they wonder why they've suddenly got cases of suspected swine flu.

It's really no wonder that the UN is saying that swine flu 'cannot be contained'. Yet, still people are complaining that their plans have been ruined by flights being cancelled. I just heard on the radio that some woman was complaining that her honeymoon was messed up by a flight being cancelled. Seriously, some people.

I've been having a look at some of the maps depicting outbreaks and they're very deceptive. Here's the BBC swine flu map which is movable so you can see how it's progressed, and here's the Swine Influenza map from @H1N1Alerts who just started following me on Twitter. If you look at both, you'll see they look different, but there is one striking resemblance. Omitting South Korea, there are no cases of swine flu in the east. If you look at the places with cases of swine flu, you'll notice that most of these are the places that people travel most frequently to. How people cannot see a link between this and the fact that swine flu is spreading is beyond me.
Also, on the second map, the 'deaths' are deceptive. America has had one. One, and yet the whole of the country goes from red to black. I know that's how they're showing where deaths have occured, but America is huge, so it makes it look as if there have been hundreds of deaths there!

I'm not panicking, I'm just trying to think sensibly. I want to say 'just don't travel' but in reality that's not going to happen, is it? Travelling is good, but maybe if people had thought a bit more before travelling to and from Mexico (since the outbreak) things might be different. Either way, I'm hoping it's all fizzled out by June. Well, definitely before July, at least!