Yet another thing from the 70s I can live without
In a scene out of Lou Dobbs jingoistic dreams an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico has spread to the United States, Canada and other nations and sent thousands into a "we’re all going to die" frenzy de jour.
It is not that swine flu shouldn’t be taken seriously, this type of virus is closely related to the pandemic of 1918. But being in my mid-40s I remember the last time the swine flu raised fears of a pandemic and it was not pretty. You have to wonder in the post-9/11 world if we are capable of avoiding a media freak out that only makes things worse.
A very limited outbreak in February 1976 caused a quarter of the country to be vaccinated, including President Ford. Subsequently hundreds died or became sick after being inoculated, while only a single person died of swine flu. It’s like Dick Cheney was involved — and he kind of was. We panicked, and frankly we were probably a hell of a lot more rational and mature about threats in 1976 then we are as a society now.