Wednesday, 29 April 2009

If A Flying Pig Flaps Its Wings In Mexico...

Is it gullible to think that Swineflu will just fly away? Don't want to hear about it, don't want to see it, don't want to talk about just in case we attract its attention to our door?

The global reality is ramping up with the terrible news of an infant swineflu death in the USA.

It seems unlikely that we can control the chaotic consequences of the Flying Pig Effect. What was a local Mexican incident is likely to follow a typical Epidemic Curve well know to Epidemiologists and result in a Pandemic whether we like it or not.

OK, we've been given advice on how to de-risk the situation, but how can this translate into public spaces (often confined) such as planes, offices, and trains? Yesterday I sat for an hour on a commuter train with a guy coughing and spluttering, do we have the right to put a big over his head or ask him to get off the train? Does swineflu mean we need to develop new social protocols as well as health protocols.

The UK sets an historical social precedent with the Plague Village of Eyam. When plague hit the village in May 1665 the population cut themselves off from direct contact with the rest of the country. The plague ravaged the village for 16 months killing at least 260 villagers. 83 villagers survived out of 350.

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