I just feel to share with you some considerations on the “influenza A pandemic A (H1N1) 2009 virus” phobia. As we all know Spain was strongly hit by the Virus, but a study involving 21 Spanish hospitals and a calculation based on the experience of Britain discovered just 0.2% of people getting the flu had serious consequences. More or less like for any other kind of flue. I do not deny the danger of this flue, but as far as I understand it is a just a strong flu and not a new form of plague that inexorably kills most of hit people.
Moreover, on Newsweek you can read how impalpable is hand-washing in preventing H1N1 spreading, because humans are most likely to catch influenza by breathing in microscopic particles exhaled by infected people. Generally speaking, I know such measures make human beings feel “on control” of their life, and campaigns done by local governments for public health reinforce the role of politicians (especially shortly before elections, like in Portugal) and give current governments the legitimation of being in charge (because they care for their citizens), but honestly hand-washing sounds a weak and partially justifiable criterion for a flue prevention, not only scientifically but also according to common sense. On a more local context, I am puzzled by the bombarding campaign of the government in Portugal on hand washing, but not a single word was uttered on the disgusting national habit of constantly spitting on the floor: roads and sidewalks are paved of phlegm, fact that I am sure helps in making Portugal “a leading country” in TBC cases in Europe. In other words: lecture people on what they can accept, but do not molest their touchiness or jeopardise their right of being uncivilized.
Crossing the two pieces of information, a few questions came up to my mind:
1) Why is the prevention campaign so standardized across different countries?
2) Is there any mastermind behind? I mean, who are the people planning the “terror and reassure” strategy? I think about a cartel of pharmaceutical companies, but most governments take advantage for those situations.
3) Is it a coincidence in a period of world economic crisis main news on TV and newspapers are about facts and emergencies that turn in being the core of new stock-market investors’ strategies (bread, water and medicines)?
4) What is the role of politicians? What are their advantages?
5) Is it not that pharmaceutical companies producing the vaccine are doing a great marketing campaign paid by national governments?
I do not believe in conspiracy theories, but we do not dare to forget it is already the second time in two years (does anybody remember the bird flu H5N1?) somebody is trying to let us believe some nasty virus is going to exterminate mankind, therefore I wonder who – apart from newspapers – is taking advantage form those terror strategies.
More info at http://www.isid.org/
Update: watch this