Pandemic My Ass

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Two years ago, a Swine Flu epidemic brokeout in Metro Manila's back yard. Nobody gave a shit and the only way you'd ever know it existed is through the medical journals and some article written by a local journalist who obviously hates his job.

Nowadays it's a whole different ballgame. Everybody from CNN to Southpark are taking notice, comparing the possible threat to the post WW1 bout of Spanish Influenza.

If we're on the topic of Spanish Influenza, how worried should we be?

Imagine a world where half of the working hospitals is out of action because they got bombed the shit out. Barely anybody has access to proper drinking water, and hygiene is basically an optional thing that most people don't really bother with. A good portion of the land around you have more craters than trees. Everybody's got at least on relative who died by bullet/artillery overdose. Synthesizing antibiotics is still a mystery. The only good thing you got going is that nobody's being too bitch about environmentalism, and Miley Cyrus wont be around to haunt humanity for another 89 years.

And THIS is supposed to be the condition in Europe right after World War 1, the most modern area of the world at that time. I can just imagine the Philippines as some country filled with caves, dinosaurs, and people with names like Gurthar and Dokdor.

This was the setting for the first time our world got assraped by the Spanish Influenza. Young soldiers returning to the front after dodging death so many times they might as well have been immortal suddenly started dying because of some weird fever that's not venereal.

30% of the population eventually contracted it, and millions died through complications afterwards, after the disease peaked at a mortality rate of 2.5%. Sounds scary? Think about it. Basic maths.

That also means only three out of ten people ever got the flu. And of those three, the likelyhood of each one of them to get infected is less than 2.5% The number will be much less if you're not from the demographic the flu is targeting.

We can't also discount the fact that we have modern medicine on our side this time around. And that our hospitals aren't suffering from the "WE GOT WIPED OUT BY REALLY BIG GUNS OF WW1" syndrome.

If you're a frequent commuter like me, the odds of you dying from crossing a road during rushhour while it's raining is more likely to kill you than the Swine Flu.

I'm not saying there's no reason for concerned people to be alarmed. 2.5% is still 2.5%, but what are you going to do about it? Will you save people if you start blogging about how you'll probably die if ever you get infected? No. Shut up.

All this panicking is stupid.

And if you're panicking, you are too.

1 comment:

Mai said...

I'm of the opinion that fear-mongering in part of the media when it comes to health issues are good for the following reason: fear-mongering is only effective by those easily swayed by whatever it is that's being sensationalized by the media.

Usually these same people are the ones susceptible to diseases (or accidents) by virtue of them not taking the initiative to think for themselves, because they're waiting for CNN et. al. to validate facts.

What happens then? Scared sheeple = less number of complacent sheeple, number of infections lessened as a result, etc. etc.

In the meantime, those who do think for themselves only have to suffer hearing/watching the same news ad nauseum until something else comes along. Hey, that's what the media is for. Sensationalize shit to distract people from the issues that really matter.


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