Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sicko De Mayo



It turns out that swine flu (or C3PO, or whatever they're calling it now) is no worse than regular flu. Of course, no state or federal health organizations are copping to that, since they would have to explain why a panic was created on the basis of something that already happens every single year anyway. However, combine the flu's more negative impact in Mexico with a continued economic downturn here in the States and you'll notice an interesting side effect of the outbreak- policymakers are using swine flu to reinvigorate the immigration debate. The "build a 2,000 mile fence at the border" crowd are getting grande boners over the notion that they can finally put a face to their xenophobia, even if that face is delicious with lettuce and tomato. Not coincidentally, a potentially bigger threat comes from within- our nation's insatiable desire for illegal substances.

The coming public health issue is the exponentially increasing violence among drug cartels along the border, collateral damage as they deliver our goodies to us. With thousands of murders and turf-killings every year and Mexican governments losing their grip on the country, we should be girding ourselves for when the "hollow-point flu" crosses our borders, because we've invited it. Until we take a serious look at drug reform, we remain able to do more damage here than a handful of pigs.

2 comments:

Joe Minkel said...

Thank you Alan, for pointing out something that needs to have been said. I asked a few (older) co-workers of mine what the big deal was anyway. I said, and I quote, "What is the difference between the two, how can you tell?" Their response, quoted, "You're too young to understand." I'm sorry, I'm 25, and I know the freaking difference between a regular flu and a more serious case. It is not a pandemic unless 1,000's or even 10,000's have DIED, not just sick from it. The sad part is, we aren't even near the 1,000 mark yet for just sick.

These are the same people who told me "heavy boots" when I asked them how the astronauts didn't float away from the moon.

The continuing decline of education in this country is sickening me. I only wish there were more like you, Alan, who could re-educate a lot of morons out there.

JustCallMeJo said...

Is it true swine flu doesn't spread if you wrap a barbed wire fence around it to isolate it?

It *is* regular flu. And panic at this point is ridiculous. However, they are right to watch to see what happens during our flu season. We're actually overdue for a big flu pandemic, which is why everybody's irrationally freaking out. H1N1 had hit hard before, so chunks of our population will do fair to middling against it this time. However, it can easily mutate in six months.

Cause for freakout?

No.

But a flu pandemic is likely in the next flu years. Could be H1N1, but we won't know if it's the Big One until this fall or winter.

Wash your hands. Quit smoking. Eat well. Drink water. And fuggedaboudit.
/m