The intent of this post is to encourage people to share their thoughts on the swine flu.  I’ll start with my own.

Should we be afraid?

Sure, we should be somewhat afraid of a virus for which there is not currently a a vaccine.  There is, however, a fine line between preparedness and paranoia.  Just because a person has visited a location where there are verified cases does not mean that person will contract the swie flu. In fact, the odds are strongly against it.  Let’s take New York City, for example.  If there was one person with the swine flu in NYC and you traveled to NYC, what are the odds of you coming into contact with the person?  Not very good.

Mortality rate

People are dying from the swine flu; this is definitely true.  However, I really don’t think we are looking at the second coming of the black plague.  In fact, I seriously doubt that the death count will even be as high as the number of annual deaths from normal flu viruses (about 35,000 per year in the US.)

Pork products

The swine flu is an airborne virus.  You simply cannot get it from eating pork products.  There is no reason to avoid eating pork products (and, indeed, there are many good reasons to continue eating pork – the sensational taste of bacon being one great reason.)

How to avoid it

In general, people are being strongly encouraged to wash their hands frequently.  People who are sick – even if they do not have the swine flu – are being asked to stay home.  Doctors are being asked to test their patients if they have any reason to believe that the person might have the swine flu.  All of these are great suggestions, albeit simply a repitition of common sense. What is my point?  You should definitely be vigilant, but don’t go into panic mode.  This is not a disease that is going to wipe humanity from the face of the earth.

What are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear them – please leave a comment.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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