Vice President Joe Biden today told anybody who’d listen that it’s time to avoid crowded confined spaces like planes and subways. This hits home because I’m hopping on a few planes in the near future. We’re not all lucky enough to have a private jet, so Biden’s remarks don’t bode well to business and vacation travelers worried about swine flu outbreaks on planes.
So am I going to wear a mask while traveling to the SW US? I’m not leaving for a few days, so I’ll wait and see what happens with the swine flu outbreak over the next few days. Does this swine flu warning from the number two guy scare me? No.
Well, not really. Unless you count a sick baby from Mexico coming to the US for treatment as the “first US swine flu death.” I don’t mean to discount the tragedy of any swine flu deaths, but at the same time the swine flu fear mongering around this first swine flu death in the United States is inexcusable.
Let’s try to think of a good analogy… You live in Plainville. Somebody from Badville (500 miles away) has been dumping dead kittens in your town. The media starts reporting that your town isn’t safe for kittens. Right, it’s not the best swine flu analogy, but it’ll do.
What can you do to avoid swine flu and avoid being the second swine flu death in the US? Start by avoiding infected people. Don’t go to Mexico City. What about swine flu in Cabo and other parts of Mexico? No swine flu in Cabo yet. One reader tells us that’s because Cabo is a hot, drty desert. But maybe they’re stashing all of the swine flu vaccine there. You should investigate and report back! OR, just maybe, there aren’t any swine flu cases in Cabo San Lucas because it’s just not there. Who would go on vacation with swine flu symptoms anyhow?
President Obama on the swine flu outbreak…
- “heightened state of alert”
- “public health emergency”
- “not a cause for alarm”
There’s a lack of consistency in the president’s swine flu message. This is the gaffe-like language we expect from Joe Biden, not Barack Obama. Hints for the president on issuing future swine flu pandemic announcements:
- Use consistent language. Don’t sell me swine flu doom and gloom and FUD in one breath and tell me not to worry in the next.
- Educate about swine flu. Don’t scare. People are worthless when they’re scared. Tell people to wash their hands or something.
- Regularity. Nobody likes it when they don’t take a dump for a few days. So tell us what’s up every day. If the swine flu outbreak is really a public health emergency, I want you talking to me about it every day.
- Wear a mask. Lead by example. How incredible would it be to see the president of the USA wearing a blue surgical mask on TV talking about swine flu? Sure, it’d cause panic in the streets, but at least it’ll work a little faster than the current Obama swine flu message. Who even knows what he’s trying to do?
The president (and his aides) should be telling people how to avoid swine flu. What are the swine flu symptoms, etc. I know it’s not typically the “job” of the prez to do that sort of thing, but you have to admit, it’d be better than saying what he’s already said about swine flu.
Swine flu tracker is just getting started. More newsy posts to follow, unless you prefer the Obama bashing.
How is swine flu transmitted? Swine flu is transmitted just like any other flu. (Its symptoms are similar too.) So think of the usual cold/flu transmission vectors and you’re on the right path. Coughing, sneezing, touching, etc. The best way to avoid swine flu, and I swear, my doctor said as much today when I got my annual physical, “Don’t hang out with people who have swine flu!”
Sounds like a smarmy remark, but that’s the truth. If you suspect you’re near anybody with swine flu or any flu for that matter, go somewhere else! If you must be near those with swine flu and don’t mind looking like a flu safety freak, you can try some of these measures.
- wash your hands regularly
- don’t rub your eyes
- wear a surgical-type mask
- cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough (preferably NOT with your hands!)
- don’t shake hands
- don’t touch doorknobs and other public items
Basically, if you want to avoid swine flu, watch a few episodes of Monk on USA and act like Mr. Monk. You don’t need to solve crimes (or do his unhealthy OCD schtick,) but his knack for cleanliness and fearing germs will prevent swine flu transmission.