Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sobbering Events - The Mexican Flu Gains a Foothold

I'm watching in morbid fascination as the potential of a global pandemic, with resulting illness and death, spreads from the Third World to the First across a porous border.

As I write this, Mexican Flu cases have appeared in California, Texas, Kansas, and New York. So far, no deaths linked to the flu have been reported. It will likely not be long before we learn of the first death of an American to the Mexican Flu.

For CLL patients, and others with serious, life-threatening conditions, this comes as frightening news. The Mexican Flu is eerily similar to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, killing healthy young adults (20-40) rather than the usual children and elderly populations.

The specter of bioterrorism has already been raised, but it doesn't take a terrorist attack to bring the potential of such a calamity to our world, already battered by a severe economic downturn. You'd think someone had it in for us. Maybe they do.

The misery of the Great Depression was worsened by a long drought resulting in the Dust Bowl. We now have a potential pandemic in the midst of another serious money panic. Do these things go together.

The President of Mexico has now exercised emergency powers. This comes as Mexico failed to respond with the first inklings that something out of the ordinary was going on. Only when the First World (The US and Canada) were able to analyze the genetics of the victims in Mexico did everyone realize there was a flu that seems to meet all of the requirements of a pandemic: human-to-human transmission, humans can become infected with it, and the populace has no immunity to it. In my opinion, these conditions have already been met.

I will be interested to see what happens to the stock markets of the world on Monday. If the news continues to get worse, a nascent recovery will die a quick and early death.

The government claims they are ready to stem a pandemic quickly. We'll see how this pans out.

Meanwhile, keep doing what you should have been doing all along; wash your hands frequently, avoid crowds, avoid sick people, cover your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing.

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