Reading the paper today, I was dismayed to note an AP article indicating that many people are viewing recent government actions regarding the mercifully mild first wave of the H1N1 epidemic as “overblown,” and accusing the media of engaging in fear mongering. People are apparently upset that their comfortable daily routines were upset; they had to take care of their kids instead of dropping them off at school for someone else to babysit; much-anticipated public events were cancelled.
Well, boo hoo. Consider yourselves lucky that the first wave was milder than anticipated, and consider thanking the government agencies for not putting their heads in the sand and worrying about upsetting people. We ain’t out of the woods yet. These things tend to come in three waves. The devastating flu pandemic of 1918 – which, by the way, lasted for nearly a year and killed millions – was mild at first, seemed to retreat, then came back later in the year stronger than ever and with a vengeance.
Should the government have ignored this and let people fend for themselves? Well, as I mentioned in a previous posting, some people don’t seem to know how to comport themselves in public in a manner that shows consideration for others. It only takes one infected person on a crowded metro car to cough or sneeze without covering up, to infect many others. They, in turn, infect others, and so on, and so on. If we are, as the AP article would seem to indicate (and here let me say that I know this one article does not truly represent the country as a whole, my views are shaped also by observations in many parts of the country over many years), such a nation of self-indulgent whiners who obsessively concerned with our personal comfort, should this virus mutate into something deadly, I fear, truly fear for the public health.
Just how conscientious are people about public health? I have noted with some alarm the significant number of men (I haven’t tried this in a ladies’ room) who don’t wash their hands after using public toilets. My unscientific observations put it at about ten percent; and this in a toilet in the building where I work that has large, colorful signs that not only urge washing hands, but include color pictures showing the proper way to do it.
Come on folks, quit whining. If this flu had turned out to be deadlier than expected, what would you have done if the government had not taken precautions? Oh, that’s right, I forgot. You would probably have done nothing because you just might be dead.
Causes Charles Ray Supports
The Nature Conservancy
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial