Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful.
It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom.
He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically,
but almost with pleasure.

Aldous Huxley

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flying pigs, saucisson and flu

Bless you.
Yes it is certainly not the time to sneeze in public! The swine flu is swining, and the world is going crazy...
But is it really? When watching the different major media broadcasters the last couple of days, I have been fairly surprised at the discrepancies between the different views on the flu. Pandemic, not pandemic, a mere spring flu? Where is the fine line?

I have looked at the big guys like Financial Times or BBC or even Bloomberg, and after feeling a bit scared of this pandemikeria I actually understood that things weren't that bad in fact. The WHO is trying to prevent countries to close their borders and impose travel restrictions, for it would be no help anyways.

But the Nile ain't just a river, as one would say! I was looking at this editorial from the Asia Times by Chan Akya, and his view is quite interesting. I was actually wondering about the same thing just before reading his article, that is the link between the current economic crisis and flying pigs. As the markets struggle to go on, government and most of the major news agencies have produced a rainfall of good looking new in the past couple of months,with slogans such as "the worst is over" and such. But as I was writing in a previous post, the worst ain't over! And a pandemic certainly wouldn't make things easier.

Is that why the WHO headmaster, Mr Fukuda, repeatedly said that there was no risk of pandemikeria? How can there be no risk when now 7 countries around the world have confirmed cases, and out of over 2000 people infected in Mexico 150 have died. That's a pretty bad rate! Yesterday (2th of April) on Al Jazeera, however, the interview of the head of the medical research council based in London clearly stated that
"it is clearly serious because we are dealing here with a flu virus that has picked up some of the genetic material from pig flu viruses but it is embedded in essence of human virus that can spread rapidly from man to man and that sets up all the potential for a pandemic."

A bigger picture of the flying infected pigs...
But who knows? Maybe a good pandemic is what we need to realize that something must be done. I had hopes that with the economic crisis there would be a change in the wind, but no such change happened. There are indeed signs that in a few remote corners of the financial world some are trying to bring a fairer world, but "cold warriors" from Washington and their bastions of neo-liberals are fighting hard. And they are strong.
So as I said, maybe the good pandemic could actually bring the world in such a bad shape that a new order could emerge from it? Lets dream...