Swine flu discussion

May 2, 2009

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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.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kern
    May 03, 2009 @ 10:25:59

    Yes, flu bad, bacon good. Wash your hands….I think that Mexicos health care is not what the U.S. has, too bad that people pay for this with their lives. Keeping your lifestyle up to par should go a long way for preventing a disaster. Good postss, enjoying your blog!

    Kern’s last blog post..Creating HDR images.


  2. kosmo
    May 03, 2009 @ 13:22:28

    Kern – I saw one site that mentioned that it was likely that many of the affected folks in Mexico had more than one virus, and the combination was the real problem. I forget the site, unfortunately, but it was one of the major news site.

    Bacon = very good 🙂


  3. Jeff
    May 04, 2009 @ 15:41:11

    For years we’ve beat it in to the heads of our employees not to take sick days. This is a welcome change letting people know that if they’re sick they should stay home. I’m tired of having sick people around me at work. Working from home is a great option!

    I strongly support bacon as well! Wednesday is bacon breakfast burrito day and tops my list of breakfast days.


  4. Johnny Goodman
    May 04, 2009 @ 20:45:45

    Yikes, H1n1, hoping the immediate concern slows down. I believe the media was searching for a story and this got blown up a little too fast too soon, but I am usually an optimistic sort


  5. kosmo
    May 04, 2009 @ 21:11:26

    I’m a team coordinator, and I’m a big fan of having people stay home if they are sick. I’d rather have you at 0% on Monday and Tuesday and 100% on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday than having your try to work through it and be at 50% for the entire week.

    To say nothing of the impact of making co-workers sick.

    I’d also like to think it’s good for morale.


  6. payday loans
    May 15, 2009 @ 17:47:56

    I don’t think we have seen the worst of the swine flu. Like it did in the past, I think it will come back stronger this winter and really kill several hundred people.


  7. kosmo
    Sep 08, 2009 @ 14:11:09

    The article seems to be gaining popularity in Google. Please note that this was originally posted in May 2009. Thus, it does not reflect any news from the last several months.


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