Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Is the Swine Flu Really That Serious ?

I'll refrain from giving the latest update on the swine flu but rather what I think about this whole pandemic situation.

The Mexican government- what were they thinking when the first cases popped up and did they initially downplay the seriousness of the virus? Whoa, let's not play the blame game here but realize that government is usually slow to react when it comes to the little people. Little people? Well, let's take a look at La Gloria, Mexico where the possible cause of the virus has been narrowed down to for some clarity here. La Gloria is a small town of about 3,000 people where earlier this year roughly 60 percent of the town fell sick. That's a large percentage for a town of that size (1,800 cases). All the little people in La Gloria have also been have been fighting for years to force the improvement in pig waste management at a nearby breeding farm. For years, they have complained of foul smells and possible air and water contamination. Of course, they are ignored because big corporate cash flow is more important. Reports state that the town was sealed off and sprayed with chemicals. Sprayed with chemicals for symptoms including fever, severe cough, and large amounts of phlegm? Now that doesn't seem to make sense to me.

Smithfield Foods co-owns the farm, Granjas Carroll de Mexico, about 5 miles from the town. Recently, a journalist was allowed to enter one of the farms to get a closer look but let's be for real now, a clean-up could have easily been accomplished to cover anything up. I'd like to know how stringent inspections are in Mexico. The company had previously been fined in the U.S. by the EPA for polluting Virginia's Pagan River. I could see them trying to get away with more in Mexico.

Pandemic? Oh, I use that word all the time. Yea right! The average person doesn't probable know what the word means. As with anything else, it doesn't seem that important or serious enough until it actually happens to you or someone you know. You must be living in a bubble if you never heard of the AIDS Pandemic, one of the worst in recorded history. The problem is we begin to almost accept it as a norm and take the "it can't happen to me" attitude. I'm not one to panic but I say this is serious enough to make me want to adhere to some precautions. The CDC states that roughly 36,000 people die in the U.S. from the flu each year. Now, how serious do you think it is or do you prefer to stay in your bubble? Check out the WHO website for real updates and answers to some questions.

(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images) Courtesy about college at Flickr

1 comment:

  1. I am still shaking my head at Mexico. I am not sure how you allow people to be sick on your streets and do very little about it. Especially when those people were protesting about the pig waste coming out of that farm.