Second, yes, a pandemic is a low probability event. It's also a catastrophic one. It would be nice if more people would read The Black Swan. Or at least get the takeaway: Make a small hedge against an improbable but devastating event. That's all "survivalism" needs to mean.
Everyone has fire insurance even though their houses are almost certainly not going to burn down. Tell someone to grab a packet or two of Tamiflu, and they look at you like you're nuts. It is amazing that people buy insurance, but do not grasp the abstract idea of insurance.
WASHINGTON, April 28 (Reuters) - What's in a name? U.S. pork producers
are finding that the name of the virus spreading from Mexico is
affecting their business, prompting U.S. officials to argue for
changing the name from swine flu.
Given that swine flu comes from - well, swine - you'd think the government would stick with the name. The farmers in the Midwest might cry:
At a news briefing, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack took pains to repeatedly refer to the
flu as the "H1N1 virus."
Now that's a memorable name! Educating the public will be easy to do with such a name. After all, it's important that a disease that might strike millions have a memorable name. How else will people communicate about it?
Why not call the swine flu something else? That's what Jews Jewish Israelis are doing:
Israel has already rejected the name swine flu, and opted to call it "Mexico flu." Jewish dietary laws forbid eating pork.
We can't do that in the United States. Mexico would be offended. So we can't call the swine flu the Mexico flu. Even though the swine flu originated in Mexico.
I suppose Napolitano would say that if R2D2 is good for George Lucas, then H1N1 should be good enough for us. Hopefully only a few million Americans die in the name of political correctness.
The people who are supposed to be looking out for America's best interest have refused to screen incoming passengers from Mexico for swine flu:
WASHINGTON, April 26 (Reuters) - The United States is not testing
airplane travelers from Mexico for the swine flu virus that has
heightened fears of a possible pandemic, U.S. Homeland Security
Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Sunday.
"Right now we don't think the facts warrant more active testing or
screening of passengers coming in from Mexico," she said at a White
What's the real reason? Screening passengers would go against the Administration's open borders policy.
If swine flu gets out of control, we can partially thank political correctness. What's a few million deaths in the name of open borders?
You'd think that, after the market meltdown, people would realize that this political correctness stuff isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Of course, we still have people denying that loans to low-income immigrants played no part whatsoever in the market meltdown. I'm sure those same people will say that letting people in from a country infested with swine flu is smart and moral.
I am starting to see the wisdom in sociopathy. I have unfortunately high levels of empathy; so I'll feel sad if a bunch of Americans - even complete strangers - die from swine flu. Yet Americans will not stand up for their rights; or they continue to believe in fictions like political correctness. So why should I care if they die?
Right, right. There is nothing to fear. 9/11 was totally carried out by people who lived in caves.
I think the swine flu pandemic won't get out of hand now. Swine flu was probably created by the United States government to distract us from the financial crisis and takeover of the country by Goldman Sachs. Now that the government screwed up - flying a fucking airplane over Manhattan! - they can't exterminate millions with the swine flu.
Even those who say, "Incompetence is more likely than malevolence" are going to be scratching their heads over this one. Even mouth-breathing TV watchers are going to realize that something is very, very wrong.
Sheep have memories programmed in 8 minute intervals. After a commercial break, this will be forgotten. Those of us who remember will be called "tin foil hat people." The curse of not being a mouth-breathing infantile moron.
At least now I need not worry about swine flu killing me. Airplanes in Manhattan + swine flu = revolution. Goldman Sachs/U.S. Government needs subjects not revolutionaries. Slavery is still profitable.
I'm not tripping out over swine flu, but I'm being careful. Yesterday, for example, I stayed inside while it was busy outside. Once most people went home, I went outside to run my errands. Avoid people and wash your hands. The CDC also recommends:
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
you get the flu, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school
and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Swine flu has an incubation period - a period where people who are infected do not look sick. So it's not easy to "avoid close contact with sick people." So just avoid as much contact with people as possible.
Yes, today I'll still go out and get a cup of coffee. I'm not freaking out. I'm not going to go to the farmer's market or Barnes and Noble, though.
Also: Carry around Purel and santize your hands like an obsessive-compulsive freak.
I'm looking for a reliable online source I can pass on to you. I haven't found a good one yet.
A doctor can call it in. If you're friendly with a doctor, he or she probably will. Prescripting Tamiflu isn't like prescribing steroids or something. It's more like getting a prescriptions for antibiotics.
Of course, we all have to play the game. "Hey, doctor. I have the flu. Can I get some Tamiflu?" That should be enough to keep everyone on the right side of the law.
* The World Bank estimated in 2008 that a flu pandemic could cost $3
trillion and result in a nearly 5 percent drop in world gross domestic
product. The World Bank has estimated that more than 70 million people
could die worldwide in a severe pandemic.
* Australian independent think-tank Lowy Institute for International
Policy estimated in 2006 that in the worst-case scenario, a flu
pandemic could wipe $4.4 trillion off global economic output.
* Two reports in the United States in 2005 estimated that a flu
pandemic could cause a serious recession of the U.S. economy, with
immediate costs of between $500 billion and $675 billion.
One report, from the Congressional Budget Office, said hospitals
would have difficulty controlling infection and might become sources
for spreading the illness.
A second report by New Jersey-based WBB Securities LLC predicted a
one-year economic loss of $488 billion and a permanent economic loss of
$1.4 trillion to the U.S. economy.
* SARS in 2003 disrupted travel, trade and the workplace and cost
the Asia Pacific region $40 billion. It lasted for six months, killing
775 of the 8,000 people it infected in 25 countries.
I wish I had more money. I'd buy SEF right when the market opened on Monday.