Posted by: goalpath | May 6, 2009

Swine Flu – Panic or Pandemic

The world Health Organization yesterday warned that the world is on the verge of a pandemic. New cases are popping up all over the world and the first death in the U.S. was reported yesterday. The W.H.O. raised the threat level to one notch below a full-scale pandemic stating that sustained outbreaks were occurring both in Mexico and the United States.

The last thing we should do at this point is panic. After all, approximately 36,000 Americans die of the flu each year without an epidemic. And don’t forget 42,000 people died in auto accidents in 2007 in the U.S. Should we be vigilant? Absolutely. Should we take all the precautions we can to prevent being infected by any airborne infection or virus? You bet. I live in Texas and we are right on the border with Mexico. Am I concerned? I am.

My wife is a Physician Assistant in family practice at the largest military base in Texas. She believes we might be over reacting to this situation. She also understands that we have the best medical facilities and care of anywhere in the world. And the U.S. has a much better informed public when it comes to health issues. She also recommends that everyone take extra precautions with regard to hand washing and physical contact with people outside one’s family. If you think you should wear a mask, then by all means, wear one.

I just worry that if we began closing all of our school districts and shut down every public event scheduled for the next couple of weeks, we will do further damage to an already weakened economy. Imagine the childcare issues that will arise and the impact it would have on our nation’s workforce. Panic is not the answer to this situation.

Obviously, if a case is reported in a school or a workplace, then that school or workplace should be closed until the virus is contained. Should our public officials close all of the schools and businesses in that district? I don’t think so. Should they curtail all of the athletic, scholastic and other public events in that district? Again, I don’t think so. We need common sense to prevail. In the famous words of FDR, “The Only Thing we Have to Fear, is Fear Itself”. 

If you are a Baby Boomer and haven’t joined, please take a minute to sign up and join. You can weigh in on all the most pressing issues facing America today. Thanks for your support…Mac


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