I debated on posting about this, but it's hard not to think about. I work with someone who believes the end of the world will be in 2010, so when I tried to discuss Swine Flu with her, she said, "It's starting." I need more than Swine Flu to believe we have a year left, maybe a plague of locusts. Am I worried? A little. The media is having a great time with this story; special graphics, maps, and pictures of people wearing masks. I must be evolving into a calmer person, because a few years ago this news would have sent me buying special masks that can keep out the H5N1 virus. Viruses fascinate me. I read plague books; I have one about the Pandemic of 1918 that is quite scary. It's interesting how these microbes evolve and become more sinister - moving from bird to pig to human. Did you know a virus may restrain itself and become less deadly if it is killing too quickly - because it wants to survive? Creepy.
I'm more concerned with next year's flu season, and I hope there is enough time to develop and test a vaccine for it. I also think we need honest reporting about this - don't hold back if we need to panic, but don't build it up either. 30,000+ people die each year here from seasonal flu, but it's not reported with much interest. I know this virus is different, so at this point we have to wait and see. For now, we are going to wash our hands more. My questions: Do those paper masks really work? Did we build up our reserves of Tami-flu (remember Avian Flu and how unprepared we would have been?)
Are you worried or do you think it's all hype?