Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Flu Frustrations

I am seriously perplexed by the swine flu--not the flu itself, but information about the flu. You all know information is my bread-and-butter; I thrive on it. (Okay, yes, I thrive on knowing things other people don't know, in particular. It helps me feel superior and all that. Sad but true.)

For example: Why are we worried about a fall outbreak? Why is it possible it will be worse, scary, or catastrophic? I know I don't have the medical/chemical/biological background to really understand all the details about viral shifts and what-have-you, but reporters are usually pretty good at broadly explaining important stuff to us laypeople. We are told that we have to be on the alert for a fall outbreak, but not why it might happen. Does it just get passed around to just a few people here and there until we're all indoors again with the cold weather, and then SWOOP! it gets us all? And does that mean that in the Southern Hemisphere they should get it really bad now, and then not as bad starting in September?

And speaking of the public being told things, why, exactly, is the public being told to prepare for a fall outbreak? What, exactly, are we supposed to do? I can see telling public health officials about it, and I certainly don't mind reporting about meetings and what goes on during them, but there is little to no information/advice for the public on this subject. Okay, then, we're supposed to be alert for a fall outbreak. That's nice. So we should eat, drink, and be merry this summer, because in the autumn we die? Or maybe we should just be making sure we get our bunkers finished.

I'm frustrated because I feel like I am lacking the tools to deal with this crisis, whether real or imaginary. Anybody got any better information?