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Unclean, unclean.

The 1918 flu pandemic could well be on the way back. If so, it'll be much faster this time because travel is faster and more frequent, because people are far less interested in the potential risk of disease since they think science can cure it all, and because people nowadays don't believe they are mortal.

Well, science can't cure it all. There are many incurable diseases still, enough to keep people like me in work for a long time. The NHS has enough antivirals to treat half the population. That's all of the Labour voters and tons to spare. Half the population can't be treated and of those that are, the success rate of the treatment won't be 100%. Besides, you might go into hospital and be cured of flu, but they have a host of other diseases waiting for you in there. A selection of Labour-sponsored infections, all free on the NHS.

Sounds a bit pessimistic, I know, and the Government tells us the risk is low, but this flu has already spread from Mexico to Australia, New Zealand, America, Colombia, Europe and the UK. China and Russia have reported no cases but then they have a history of keeping problems to themselves. So it's global already. Dizzy has found a map which tracks the flu's progress.

Pharmaceutical companies are delighted. They'll make a fortune out of this and no doubt be reviled for it, but they make the stuff that might save your life so don't be too quick to cast them as evil. Then again, since they'll be taxed to death if they make too much money, they might find it prudent not to produce too much in any one tax year. Ah, if only the socialists hadn't clamped down on success, we might have had enough cheap antivirals for everyone. We might have had small businesses working on new and more effective cures.  We might have had graduates in chemistry, biochemistry and microbiology rather than in social engineering, David Beckham and knitting. Hell, if it hadn't been for Labour I might have expanded this business and employed some staff, maybe even a virologist or two. Too late now.

What won't happen is any restriction on anyone travelling to or from the infected areas because that would infringe their human rights. As with foot and mouth, such restrictions won't come into force until the infection has reached the point where they have to be draconian. Early quarantine of a few is in breach of human rights, later quarantine of thousands is not. So far there are tiny numbers of infected people in specific locations. It's easy to say 'bah, it's nothing' because today it's only two cases. Tomorrow it might not be. Dealing with such an infective agent, tomorrow might be too late.

Sturgeon said the threat to the public remained low.

So far, yes. Let's hope it stays that way. This is 'don't worry about it' from the same government who brought you 'hot tea gives you cancer' and all the other remote possibilities you might die from at some unspecified time in the future. This is from the government whose health and safety brigade ban kettles from common rooms in case someone burns themselves, and put up posters advising you of the best way to pick something up. Barbecue? Oh dear no, you might get bowel cancer in fifty years. Swine flu going global in days? Nah, don't worrry about it.

A total of 22 people who came into contact with the two confirmed cases have been identified but only seven of those have shown what she described as mild symptoms.

'Only' seven out of twenty-two is 'only' a thirty percent infection rate on first contact. Nothing to worry about?

"We remain very encouraged by the fact that, outside Mexico, everyone who has contracted swine flu has experienced mild symptoms only," she said.

Are Mexicans a different species? I was under the impression they came from the same planet as the rest of us. Europeans and Americans are pumped up with medication almost from birth. We take drugs for colds and flu all the time. It'll take the virus a few rounds of infection to overcome that and get into its stride. So I am not reassured that the first cases are mild. They always are.

Already some 'experts' are saying 'Oh, but bird flu is much worse. This isn't bird flu'. No, it isn't. Bird flu didn't spread like this. Bird flu was a scare, a pseudo-pandemic that never came to anything although there are still groups being funded to work on it. They won't want to be overshadowed by pig flu. They'll want their research funding to continue. So they'll play this down for as long as they can, or at least until they catch it.

The silver lining is that it's not the middle of winter. If it was, this flu would be far more deadly. All the same, it is highly infective and could still spread although people's resistance to it should be higher in warmer weather. I wouldn't take the chance though.

Fortunately I'm an antisocial git who works alone and contacts business associates mainly through phone and Email. I visit the pub sometimes but there are fewer people in there these days. My risk is lower than normal because of that.

Watch out for this one and pay no attention to 'oh, it'll be fine' messages. The more people believe that, the more likely it is that it won't be fine.

Remember who's running this country. It's the same lot who had foot and mouth 'under control', let it spread throughout the country and when it was all over, they let it loose again. The same lot who inspired the comeback tour of tuberculosis. The ones who thought it logical to put more infectious diseases inside hospitals than outside them. Every other country might stamp on this disease straight away, but Labour will cherish it and provide it with free accommodation and benefits, subsidised travel and viral rights. As with all the others. To Labour, even a virus is more important than the population of this country.

In any emergency, the safest course of action is to do the opposite of what this government tell you.

There's also the other scenario. The one where a desperate government, crumbling and losing power, seize on an emergency and take advantage of it.

I wouldn't put it past them.

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
27th Apr, 2009 23:27 (UTC)
The government will be delighted that they will have a 'proper' emergency to keep us under the cosh. No need to be plotting with plod to trigger a summer of rage.

I'm with you, I wouldn't put it past them either.

Rab C. Nesbitt

28th Apr, 2009 08:25 (UTC)
We shall see, but I doubt it will be the wipe-out the Greens are waiting for. SARS was bollocks, bird flu was bollocks, rabid animals coming down the channel tunnel was bollocks, even the millennium bug was bollocks and that wasn't even a real bug. I expect this will turn out to be bollocks as well.

28th Apr, 2009 08:31 (UTC)
What about all those air travelers breathing the recycled air during flights,lovely way to spread disease innit.How many people do you know who have been ill after a flight.Only needs one sneeze on the plane and you all breathe it.
28th Apr, 2009 10:19 (UTC)
It's not the fact that it may cull a few weak or elderly, it will

It's not the fact that they have our health at heart, they don't.

It's that the worker drones may ALL take a week off work and their system of control will collapse.

They can control us with threats of losing our houses, our jobs, our liberty. They can even call the army in the restore their "order" if they need to.

But if 60,000,000 of us are confined to our beds for a week by nature, their system collapses. The crazy 646 are powerless. No trains, no buses, no air traffic control, no police, no army, no tax revenue, no schools, no beaurocrats, no prison guards, no farming, no banking. For a week.

And it is scaring the living SHITE out of them.
28th Apr, 2009 11:50 (UTC)
nobody to pay for benefits or ever WORSE nobody to pay for their EXPENSES,DON'T PANIC DON'T PANIC.....
28th Apr, 2009 10:29 (UTC)
@ OH,

They're scared because swine flu is spread by having your snout in the trough.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )