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Swine flu:
  • 13 confirmed deaths

  • Under 200 suspected total deaths

  • Under 5,000 suspected infections

Everyone is all in arms about this, ready to do anything necessary. Get out the masks! Save the poor developing country!


  • Estimated 25 million deaths

  • Estimated 33 million living with disease in 2007

I realize that a pandemic would be terrible. By all means, let's do what we can to prevent that. But let's also not forget that we've already got a nasty virus decimating parts of the world. And it's just as easy to pass out condoms as it is to pass out masks.

EDIT: Well, I've been shown up by Max in the comments. Good show, everyone, thanks for playing.

Avatar max *
04-30-09 17:57
cyber desperado
Except one you can catch because someone coughs on you and the other you need to have sex or share a needle.

I don't think people should panic about swine flu, but get real dude.

Your numeric comparison here is naive if not disingenuous. In any case it's in the realm of ideologue diatribe.

If swine flu had some 60 years to spread across humans, and if it were the type of virus which would lay dormant for a time the comparison might be apt. But none of that is true.

If you'd rather compare the current iteration of H1N1 to a truly comparable epidemic of a prior iteration of H1N1 I think you'd be better poised to understand peoples fear. 100 million people dead in two years spread across all continents. That's dramatic, especially when you consider the world population in 1918 was approximately 1/9th of the world population today!

While there's no reason to believe this particular virus will be as lethal as The Spanish Flu, it's also one of a few things that is reasonable to use to draw a comparison.

So get real: get off your high horse of rabid contrarianism to ask yourself "why would people be scared (other that media/government/alien manipulation)".
Avatar spencer
04-30-09 18:15
Hmm. Fair enough.
Avatar spencer
04-30-09 18:18
However, I still think alien manipulation is a likely explanation.
Avatar unfathomablej
04-30-09 18:22
scholar of China
While I agree with the principles of Max's argument, I also think there is some good from your argument Spencer. Biologically, there might be few similarities between the two diseases. In terms of public health reaction, the two cases are also quite dissimilar. However, HIV/AIDS is as significant as swine flu in the aspect of exposing social and economic inequality. Unfortunately, there are variables beyond political ones, too many so to attribute the lack of swift response to AIDS versus swine flu as driven by specific political causes. So we can just stick with a power versus powerless paradigm placed at a global scale and nothing more...
Avatar schelly
04-30-09 20:24
Warrior Princess
Do recall there's also been great medical improvements since 1918... What was WWI medicine like again?

I also like the statistics I used for my facebook status:

US traffic fatalities: 100+ per day (based on 2008 statistics)
US gun violence fatalities: 50+ per day
World swine flu deaths on biggest day so far: 43.

And now that people are aware it's going around, the daily death rate has dropped.

AIDS is one thing, yes... but you can get killed in a traffic accident just driving to school.

I think panicked people overloading the medical symptoms with simple colds thinking it's "swine flu" will have more of an impact than the actual condition.

Inshallah I won't eat my words.
Avatar pureleaf
05-01-09 00:21
Max, you need to get off YOUR high horse.

Anyone can read a history book and take a intro level biology class. This, so far, is being overblown for ratings, and you know it.

There is a difference between controlled preparedness and media driven frenzy.
Avatar chucho *
05-01-09 00:50
Breathe deep
I had the (regular) flu last weekend. I wanted to punch everyone in the face that told me I had swine flu. Not only did it make me feel shittier then, but now I have all of them saying "I told you so".

Except I'm still alive, fuckers.
Avatar max *
05-01-09 09:08
cyber desperado
Nope, not going to concede that this is being overblown for media ratings.

As I sit here typing this the current reports are suggesting the lethality of swine flu is relatively low (but it still is damn efficient at spreading). But, when this outbreak started we had no way of knowing how lethal it would end up being, had it been a much more dangerous virus the level of concern portrayed by government and world health officials would've been necessary.

Had it turned out to be more lethal, waiting a week to try to control the spread of it would've been too late.

And also, I don't have a high horse here (consider the meaning in the metaphor, for a moment). It's damn hard to advocate sane epidemiological policy betwixt the swine flu deniers and the outright histrionic.
Avatar max *
05-01-09 10:57
cyber desperado
Actually I'm really dissatisfied with my last reply.
Avatar sara *
05-01-09 12:38
Have some tea.
I'm just glad they didn't change the name to "Mexican Flu."
Avatar chucho *
05-01-09 23:08
Breathe deep
Avatar david *
05-02-09 01:46
Ross Is. Br.
The WHO has rated it as a pandemic. The media would be silly not to report daily on active pandemic.
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