I’ve been seeing a lot of paranoia about swine flu concern around the internets. You know, people making fun of other people for being concerned about a possible global pandemic.
Why not just let people be concerned — they might have good reason. Why not let them wear masks without ridiculing them? It’s not hurting anyone, and may in fact be helping us.
Applying social pressure not to be concerned seems foolish, because it could lead to more infection.
Lest anyone not see the need for concern, let me remind you of the 1918 flu pandemic, also known as the Spanish flu:
The 1918 flu pandemic was an influenza pandemic that spread to nearly every part of the world. It was caused by an unusually virulent and deadly Influenza A virus strain of subtype H1N1.
Does that sound familiar? It should, as that’s what the swine flu is (Influenza A H1N1). The 1918 flu pandemic infected a billion people — half the world’s population — and killed anywhere from 20 to 100 million people. That’s more than double the number killed in WWI.
The Spanish flu also primarily killed healthy young adults, whereas normal flu affects mostly infants and the elderly. Guess what the swine flu also primarily kills? That’s right, healthy young adults.
I’m not saying this will be a pandemic, but the potential is there. Thus it’s not silly or stupid to be concerned about this. We should be concerned, because if we can prevent a pandemic, shouldn’t we try?