Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thoughts on the "Pandemic"

I'm told there is a "swine flu pandemic"...although the term swine flu is not really accurate.

For that matter, neither is the term "pandemic." According to, the definition of this noun is:

prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area.
Prevalent? Let's look at that definition, too:
1. widespread; of wide extent or occurrence; in general use or acceptance.
2. having the superiority or ascendancy.
There may be thousands of cases of this flu—in Mexico, with its population of 110,000,000—but the definition of pandemic just does not seem to be met by this spreading virus.

I heard on the radio today that a grand total of 7 [that's seven, as in one more than six] deaths are attributed to this flu, all of them but one in Mexico. That may not be the most up-to-date number at the moment you read this, but it hardly ranks up there with the most common causes of death in America [technically, abortion is the #1 cause of death in America]:
  1. Heart disease (approximately 652,000 in 2005)
  2. Cancer (559,000)
  3. Stroke (143,000)
  4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases (130,000)
  5. Accidents/unintentional injuries (117,000)
  6. Diabetes (75,000)
  7. Alzheimer's (71,000)
  8. Influenza/pneumonia (63,000)
Notice #8, which accounted for an average of about 173 deaths per day (2005) in the U.S.A. And this is only the eighth-most common cause of death; it is only about one-tenth of the number of heart disease deaths.

So why is there such a big deal being made about this "pandemic"?
  • Could it be because groups and organizations like WHO and CDC want to make themselves relevant in their lives? Or more to the point, because they want more funding?
  • Could it be because the media have virtually no grasp of statistics?
  • Could it be because people, not finding comfort and peace in God, suddenly have a new thing to worry about?
There are various reports in the U.S.A. about schools closing today; Texas sports events have been postponed. This is an overreaction (except perhaps for that one Catholic school in NY which has multiple confirmed cases). Those relative few who have this flu should be kept away from the rest of the population, and life should continue. The percentage of Americans who have this particular virus is still far fewer than the percentages of Americans who have a variety of other spreadable viruses, diseases, etc.

Calm down, folks. It's not as bad as the media and government want you to think.

1 comment:

Brenda Brough said...

Thank you! I've gotten calls from my concerned parents and mother-in-law asking what precautions we're taking here. I tell them....ummmm...nothing different than continuing to wash our hands and not visit the doctor's office for silly reasons. Can't figure out either why such the fuss when during the "regular" flu season there are folks who die also, but we don't see entire school districts shut down nor entire community events cancelled. A bit scary that Americans are just swallowing everything the media says without truly thinking it through!!!