Every school sporting event and academic event in Texas has been cancelled or postponed until at least May 11th, 2009 because of the Texas swine flu outbreak. Regional track meets – cancelled. Over 50,000 students denied their extracurricular activities. Is this justified? Sadly, yes.
The old “better safe than sorry” adage applies to swine flu, caused by the H1N1 flu virus. The world health organization today upped the swine flu pandemic alert status to reflect the high potential for a global swine flu pandemic.
The Obama administration and CDC continue their two-faced freak-out/stay calm approach. Arguably, it’s warranted. A potential swine flu pandemic requires that we become more aware of our own and others’ health practices while at the same time, we should not fall victim to swine flu panic. It’s a fine line.
Too much panic is self-defeating and could lead to calls of crying wolf over swine flu. Conversely if we stay too calm, we could fall victim to the swine flu zombies. Case in point. I ordered a pizza today. Two actually. One with pineapple and black olives, the other with peperoni and double cheese. (Heart attack in a cardboard box… if it doesn’t kill me, the swine flu might!) And while I didn’t order any swine flu topping on either pie, the thought crossed my mind… “What if one of the pizza makers just came back from spring break in Mexico City with a case of swine flu?”
I decided that scenario was unlikely, and I really wanted pizza. But it illustrates a potential conundrum that might become more common, should the “swine flu pandemic” actually become a true pandemic. According to the WHO, it’s on its way. Stay tuned to swine flu tracker.