The Wordstress Blog

The Wordstress ponders the birds and the bees.

Swine flu, avian flu, SARS… April 28, 2009

Filed under: chickens — eastlakecounty @ 11:10 am

It would be so easy to get all riled up about swine flu, especially if you listened to some of the folks at my B2B meeting this morning (we also got an earful about how the pharmaceutical industry is killing us all…a little extreme, I think, but that’s another blog entry), but look, more people have measles right now than have swine flu. Yes, it’s spreading, yes, people in Mexico have died, and no, I do not want to catch it. But I think the level of hysteria is perhaps a little high – we’re nowhere near an epidemic and even the outbreaks are very localized at this point.

The last time we visited the Chicken Store in Key West (it’s gone now, sadly), the woman there told us one of the issues people had with the wild Key West chickens was Bird Flu…local residents wanted the chickens rounded up and slaughtered or relocated, but not left roaming the streets like they had done for generations. I have looked and looked and am unable to find a single case of a human contracting flu (bird or otherwise) from Key West chickens, and it makes me sad that eventually all the Key West chickens will be re-homed elsewhere, Duval Street will be taken over by chain stores, and Key West will be just another tourist trap…partially because of flu hysteria.

Remember the SARS hysteria? 45,000 surgical masks (which were not supposed to be effective in stopping the spread of SARS) sold in SCOTLAND! SARS killed, what, like 500 people in the months that the magazines were picturing people in surgical masks with SARS on them…but 5000 women every year die in Latin America due to illegal abortions and no one’s jumping up and down about that.

I don’t mean that Swine Flu will not be a serious threat, I don’t mean that Avian Flu will never be an issue that we’ll have to deal with, and I don’t mean that the pharmaceutical industry operates with our best interests at heart. I do mean that washing our hands is an effective (and inexpensive!) way to prevent the spread of disease, and I do mean that we shouldn’t slaughter chickens and other pets when a case of bird to human flu transmission occurs, and I do mean that when people slam the pharmaceutical companies, I think about how many of our parents and grandparents would have died without the proper use of antibiotics. KEY WORDS: PROPER USE.

Rant mode off. Sorry about that.


7 Responses to “Swine flu, avian flu, SARS…”

  1. becky Says:

    WOW!…….now, take a deeeeep breath….innnnnn…..and out…….innnnn……..and out

  2. Alex Says:

    Here I feel you 100%.

    I just want to get a megaphone, go to a crowded place, and shout “CHILL OUT, PEOPLE!!!” ’cause I know they’re freaking out, but then they’d look at me like I was freaking out, and it’d be like one big stare off with the WTF faces at one another, and I don’t think it’d do anything good.

    Also. Flu. Right there in the name. There’s a good ol’ regular flu comes through these parts what, three times a year?

  3. Joyce Says:

    I usually don’t have too much to say about much…
    But- with the World being what it has become, the economy being what it has- I think people are just plain scared.

    I don’t know anything about chickens in Key West, or Cows- Gone-Crazy (Mad Cow Disease) what I do know is that people are ignorant due to lack of knowledge, and easily mislead by everything they hear!

    Far as I’m concerned, I’m going to die one day…

    Sure I can take precautions and try to live better…but I sure won’t be dying from fear of the ‘stuff’ going on around me.

    Life’s too short as it is- You have to Live each day to it’s fullest and get on with ourselves!

    I suppose there’s no real cure for fear, we all have ‘some’ form of it.

    • eastlakecounty Says:

      Sing it, sistah!

      I used to think I was fearless until one time I made a list of all the stuff I’m scared of. Ha. Turns out I’m a big scaredy-cat.

  4. eastlakecounty Says:

    Okay, so Egypt is considering culling herds of pigs because of swine flu (pigs are unclean, right?). Obama is taking heat for wanting it referred to as H1N1 – one twitter post said “Should we call it HNIC” which just floored me. Aren’t we in the 21st century yet?

    What’s the population of the world? And how many fatalities have there been? I’m just not panicked yet. I’ll work on it, though, okay?

    PS: I had to look up “panicked”. It doesn’t look right. Perhaps it’s unclean.

    • maya Says:

      Pam, on your list of things that scare you, there is one glaring omission: When your dog brings you A DEAD OPOSSUM.

  5. eastlakecounty Says:

    That’s right! When you’re trimming the philodendrons and you find a dead possum hanging by its teeth…that is scary as all get out! Dead gophers, bunnies, foxes and emus are also scary when they arrive in your dog’s mouth.

    It just wasn’t on the list of possibilities presented by Facebook…I don’t think. I was too busy worrying about ticks.

    I must confess, Maya, that I have no firsthand knowledge of whether it’s scary when your dog brings you a dead emu in its mouth. I just made that up. But I think it might be marginally scarier than ticks.

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