Saturday, May 09, 2009

Swine Flu Backlash Has Started

A Canadian paper reported "... as fears of a catastrophic pandemic wane, some medical experts are questioning the apocalyptic statements that have occasionally emerged from WHO's otherwise subdued press conferences. "Sometimes some of us think WHO stands for the ‘World Hysteria Organization,'" said Dr. Richard Schabas, who was Ontario's chief medical officer of health from 1987 to 1997. "There seems to be a culture at WHO where they've convinced themselves that a pandemic is such an imminent danger that they overreact."

Crawford Kilian says it well.

We can expect more such "crying wolf" reports, all with the implicit subtext: What, me worry?
During the Boer War, the young Winston Churchill observed that "Nothing is so exhilarating as to be shot at without effect."

Some of us may feel pleasantly giddy as H1N1 seems to lose its menace: It didn't hit us. And if it scared the experts while it didn't really scare us, well, we must be way smarter than the experts.

But I recall an observation from one of my drill instructors at Fort Ord on a sunny afternoon in 1963, where we were about to experience being shot at with live ammunition:

"Gentlemen," said the DI, "a round has no friends."

In other words, keep your stupid head down. And listen to your drill instructor. He is always going to be smarter than you are, even if the last bullet missed you.

In my own family a couple of people are wondering out loud if the whole episode was orchestrated by -- it's not clear who, incidentally -- someone or some group whose aim was to "use up a big inventory of medicines before they go out of date."

One of Sherlock Holmes' solved one of his most famous mysteries by noting the dog that didn't bark. We should be so wise. But hey, What? Us worry?

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