Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu. Red Herring?

Skepticism is my middle name. I have done an incredible amount of reading on the topic of pandemics. I have focused less on the epidemiology perspective (not my area of expertise), more on an illness' impact on a business. What happens if half of a firm's employees are sick and cannot come to work? The challenge here is to reduce the likelihood of if happening to a large number of employees and what contingency plans to invoke.

The government/media complex has a huge record of over-hyping an issue. Whether it is a food supply issue (tomatoes and peppers), unemployment (apparently 8-10% is a depression), terrorism (no hits since 9/11/03 but not because of great government agencies), or disease. This latest swine flu issue seems to be more of a red herring than something that should dominate the news.

The flu appears to have Mexican origins and has moved its way to many nations including the USA. National and world health agencies are engaged to control the outbreak, find the origin, etc.

In the U.S., the bureaucrats at the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services' CDC are excited about this latest hype. All while Obama plays golf. If it were that serious, would Napoliano tie herself to it?

People get the flu every day and in every nation of the world. People will die from it. What is interesting about this strain is that it seems to have a harsher affect on younger adults.

When the State Department creates travel restrictions, more often than not, it is making a CYA statement. Remember SARS?

This is another way for the news media to create a temporary boost in readers and viewers. For the administration, it is a red herring. An interesting issue but not deserving of the hype and impact to business.

There are many in talk radio that think the government should shut the borders immediatley and screen all entrants via planes and boats. Perhaps they are right but it does not strike me yet as a need to be so paranoid at this time as they do. However to hear Napoliano or Obama say 'not to worry,' causes me to worry.

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