Thursday, April 30, 2009

O Sancta Simplicitas!

Yes, I know that I already used that headline for an earlier post. But reading how the Egyptians are culling pigs (a polite name for getting your throat cut) to prevent the swine flu, even though no infected pigs have been found makes me feel...evil. Then Russia, China and South Korea have banned pork imports. Pork is safe to eat, but better be absolutely sure, you know! Oh, and let's call the flu something different, say the North American flu. That way we can cull only North Americans and ban their importation.

And then there's stupidity of the other sort, advocating that Tamiflu should be available over-the-counter because nobody would ever take it for some unrelated sniffles, nobody!, and certainly nobody would stockpile it.

Or what about the idea I've read several times that we should all go out and spit in each other's faces so that we'd get the flu in a mild form, before it starts killing, and get treated quickly (by our stockpiled Tamiflu, no doubt) in spacious hospitals in advance of the mass deaths? That's doable, it is.

The next round of stupidity will probably consist of self-flagellation and knee-marches to ancient plague shrines.

Still, even the more moderate policies look a little bit silly to me. Note how it's not practical to stop air traffic to and from Mexico or to close the border, because the flu will get across anyway. But somehow it's then perfectly practical to try to isolate each outbreak and to close schools. I understand where this combination comes from but it fails to satisfy my logical goddess.

This is a fairly good post on some real concerns with the swine flu. I'd like to learn more about why it assumes that nobody will have immunity against this particular combination of strains. Not saying that isn't so, just wanting to learn more.