“Now would be the worst time to kid ourselves that swine flu is nothing to worry about.” So say the editors of New Scientist in the most recent issue. (For the record, New Scientist is our favorite magazine of any sort, ever. Except maybe for Mad Magazine, when we were nine years old.)
So is this a swine flu scare tactic? Fear mongering? No. Even in the unlikely event that we’re lucky enough to say the worst of swine flu is behind us, our opening quote is sage advice. While we’ve started to receive the blog comment equivalent of hate mail, ostensibly for crying wolf and propagating the “swine flu myth”, the sad truth of the matter is this: Swine flu is still serious business.
Before you chastise this or any other swine flu information source, please research historical flu patterns. You’ll understand the wave-like pattern of past flu pandemics and even their smaller cousins, the less scary flu epidemic. Typically, there’s an early wave of flu infection. Then because of seasonality or whatever other reason, the flu outbreak subsides. All clear? Nope. Flu tends to return in a second wave, even stronger than before.
Other than the early cases in Mexico, swine flu turned out to be much less vicious than initially feared. But don’t count your chickens yet. Our swine flu luck could run out. The odds are 50/50 at best that Chicken Little is the idiot here. For all of our sakes, I hope the sky stays right where it is. In the meantime, expect more swine flu news from whatever we’re considering the trenches these days.