Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Crying wolf

It seems that the Swine Flu pandemic is waning, or at least concern about it is. Schools no longer have to close upon having a single child with flu symptoms. People, especially people in charge of such matters, are calming down.

I see two chief upshots of this panic. One, our health care system had a really good test, and should be much improved from it.

Unfortunately, the other result is a negative. Run of the mill folk, that is, people not particularly in the know about our health care system, like me, are going to look at the next outbreak with much more scepticism. Kind of like the Y2K panic, which also fizzled out.

Maybe it was the 24 cable news constantly flogging the issue. Maybe it was the over-reaction by whoever issued edicts such as closing an entire school upon one child getting ill. Either way, "Wolf!" was cried, and next time people won't be frightened so easily.

Update:
song chart memes

3 comments:

fortboise said...

If and when we do have a pandemic driven by influenza (and if you read the interesting NYT story, linked under Irreducibly simple? on my blog, you'll know it's a good candidate), the most likely scenario is a "shot across the bow" such as we're having, and then next season, wham!

alan said...

I've heard that as well, that next flu season will be a killer, literally.

Tippyrich said...

Agreed, next season will be, 'wham!", but the CDC's 'vaccine development' process that keeps us one step ahead of the virus is pretty awesome.

Read more: http://www.cdc.gov/

It's pretty ingenious really. People die every year from the flu. As of today, we have 403 cases (1 in Idaho) of H1N1 (Swine) flu in this country with 1 resulting in a fatality, which matters if it's you or a loved one, but on the grand scale, that's pretty good odds.

And when the time rolls around, you still need to suck it up and get your flu shot(s), there is a possiblity, that it might take more than one next year.