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

Monday, May 04, 2009

When Pigs Die

My last post compared the 1918 "Spanish Flu" with the current "Swine Flu". One of the promising factors about the most recent outbreak was the missing link between pigs and humans. Yesterday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported that a sick worker, returning from Mexico had infected 200 pigs at his workplace in Alberta. The pigs seem to be recovering. What is troubling is that a bridge between pigs and humans has been established.

The WHO will step down their alerts in the coming two weeks. However, we should hold our collective breath throughout the summer (winter in Australasia). If the flu reappears again in June, it may be following the wave pattern of infection that occurred in 1918. This will be confirmed if a resurgence results in a higher death rate. By then the virus manufacturers should have prepared a new generation of vaccines for the marketplace. New infections will retract and the mortality rate will fall. This will be attributable to the new regimen.

But, following the 1918 paradigm, infections and rates will decline anyway, irrespective of treatment; the worst months were in October and November, when the virus returned. I'm very concerned this is a very real scenario. The conspiracy theorists in the blogosphere are telling everyone that the whole pandemic was a staged hoax, to take our minds off the economy and tighten control on society.

Economists are beginning to be divided into two camps; Keynesians vs. Mises. The Keynesians are telling us to get ready for a slow recovery this fall. The Austrian School (Mise) are warning of a more devastating collapse of the equity and forex markets this October.

So October may prove to be a watershed month for all of us. Economists do agree on one thing: If the pandemic returns with greater strength, the cost to the global economy will erase all of the gains in the past year and leave us once more poised on the precipice of a sytemic collapse.

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