It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Economy and the Flu

We seem to have taken the same approach to solving the economy and the H1N1 virus, throw money at it and hope it goes away. Masks are handed out that do nothing to screen out the virus. Tamiflu, not specific enough to kill this virus, is distributed and sold throughout the world. These things reassure people, who see action being taken and since the disease seems to kill only Mexicans, life can go on.

When the so-called "Spanish Flu" hit in March 1918, it was not unlike any other flu on the day; people got sick and then they got better. The flu seemed to be gone by the end of April. But it wasn't gone... it came back with renewed strength in June and people began to die. Again it seemed to be gone by the end of July. but it wasn't gone... it came back even stronger than before in October, this time killing many more people than ever. Another, less deadly wave, broke out again in 1919. And then it was gone.

When comparing the 2009 virus with its distant cousin from 1918, there is one reassurance. The 1918 virus affected pigs the same as people. So far, pigs are reported to be unaffected. Hopefully our virus lacks that little something that accounted for so many deaths.

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