All this stuff about the swine flu is starting to concern me. Now the government has declared a “public health emergency“.
As I’ve been documenting (okay, okay, bitching about) for the last two weeks, I’m still recovering from a serious inner ear infection that stole a good portion of my hearing and ruptured the eardrum in my right ear. This is NOT a good time to tell me there’s a potential pandemic out there that has killed people in Mexico is present in the United States. My resistance is probably still low from fighting off the ear infection, so am I supposed to be paranoid whenever anyone coughs or sneezes or spits near me? I’d like to think not, but because I go to school with large numbers of people (some of whom don’t have the good sense to stay home when they’re ill), then I will always wonder if they just have a simple cold, or something more serious, like the flu or some kind of airborne infection that I can potentially catch.
As far as the “public health emergency” goes, this is what has happened so far (from Yahoo! News):
At a White House news conference, Besser and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano sought to assure Americans that health officials are taking all appropriate steps to minimize the impact of the outbreak.
Top among those is declaring the public health emergency. As part of that, Napolitano said roughly 12 million doses of the drug Tamiflu will be moved from a federal stockpile to places where states can quickly get their share if they decide they need it. Priority will be given to the five states with known cases so far: California, Texas, New York, Ohio and Kansas.
Napolitano called the emergency declaration standard operating procedure — one was declared recently for the inauguration and for flooding. She urged people to think of it as a “declaration of.”
Okay, so the government is on top of it. The closest states to me that have been affected are Kansas and Texas. So do I avoid people from Kansas and Texas?
Of course not. That would be stupid! Just use common sense as far as hygiene goes and hopefully this will get under control before long.
Should we panic? Probably not. You’ll probably read a lot of bull about this in the days to come, from sources that have about as much knowledge about this as I do. I’m not going to go around inciting panic. All I can do is watch out for myself and my loved ones.
And keeping a level head.
That’s all from where I sit.