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I'm very impressed at how effective this flu pandemic threat is at pacifying a population.

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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:33 AM
Original message
I'm very impressed at how effective this flu pandemic threat is at pacifying a population.
If I were an authoritarian sort, I would be tempted to say this is an extraordinary opportunity to test alternative methods of pacifying the masses.

We had one Mexican fly into Hong Kong yesterday, ostensibly with the dreaded bug. Police cordoned off the hotel, the staff and guests are under 7-day quarantine, public transport is suddenly full of worried masked masses. Legislators are on the news saying all Mexicans should be isolated.

Just like that you have a police state. No one argues.

Yup. If I were the authoritarian sort, I'd be drooling.

Very impressive indeed.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. Hong Kong. What else is new?
It's not "pacifying" other populations.
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. We'll see.
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Jeep789 Donating Member (935 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Actually, it is here too
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Sounds like they had a common-sense-ectomy.
What ever happened to "Feel sick? Stay home?"

Do they actually think that shutting down for a week is going to stop people from getting the flu, magically?

What happens the week after, when someone else has a sniffle? And the week after that?

Those kids will end up going to school all frigging summer.
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Jeep789 Donating Member (935 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:54 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Common sense is easily trumped by fear,
even imaginary fears, as history has proven time and time again.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Yeah, all those idiots who thought the Y2K "bug" was going to shut the world down.
No common sense. Morons. Whatchagonna do?

If you're sick, stay home. How difficult is that, really?
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #8
19. While some things about Y2K were indeed overhyped...
...it's important to realize a big reason that the date transition went smoothly is because business and government did a remarkable thing: they actually did the hard work ahead of time to avert potential catastrophe, instead of the usual human response of waiting until disaster strikes and having a bigger mess to deal with.

It's unfortunate that working hard to avert a disaster will often go unappreciated by many people, because instead of recognizing the value of all of the precautionary and preventative measures when a disaster doesn't occur, these people will take the fact that a disaster didn't happen to mean that there was never anything to worry about it the first place.

We may already be too late to stop serious consequences from global warming, but suppose we still somehow manage to cut our carbon emissions greatly and reduce how bad it gets? You know exactly what will happen: the people who never wanted to do anything about global warming in the first place will say it was all hype, they'll take the good results of action as proof that no action was needed, and whatever changes occur anyway they'll write off to "natural cycles" just like they're trying to do now.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #19
30. Well said. nt
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crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #19
34. hear hear!
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
45. That wasn't my point at all, though. I know how much work went into Y2K, I was in government at the
time. And as I remember, "officialdom" made a point of telling the public that they'd done this, that and the other thing, and all would be well. They said it over and over and over again.

So this is not about "under-appreciation," at all.

However, a crowd of skyfalling loony tunes refused to believe "The Government" and was sure that it was a 'nefarious plot/evil scheme/bunch of lying bastards' and that the sky would indeed fall and the only thing left to eat would be Twinkies from the factory in Natick after all the bombs exploded and everyone who wasn't hiding in their basement died a horrible death.

I see similar things happening now. The President of the United States goes on tee vee and says "Hey, you fucking nitwits, use common sense--wash your hands, stay home if you feel like shit,oh, and cover your mouth, ya pig!" and people still think it's some Super Secret Government Plan to release a stealth virus that targets people of Mexican ancestry, or it's some experiment that escaped from Unka Dick's Anthrax Lab, or something.

I'm going to behave sensibly. I'm not going to run around like a chicken with my head cut off, I'm going to stay home if I feel sick, cough into my elbow, wash my paws...do the stuff that the President suggested. I'm not going to get hysterical or panic, or encourage others to get hysterical or panic.

Enough of the Fear, Fear, Fear card that the media keeps hyping for ratings. It's as stupid as Bush's Terra Terra Terra game--I'm just not playing it.
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #45
52. Just for fun....
Here's a song I wrote and recorded about the Y2K "scare"....

http://mp3upload.ca/download/13963/sw__century_blues.mp...
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #52
54. Ha -- you need to retool that to the SWINE FLU BLUES!!!
Might as well make some money--everyone else is!
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #54
57. It would even have that "flu-blues" internal rhyme!
I think you're onto something. I better hurry though.
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:11 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. We've been through this in HK - SARS in 2003 - and still the fear takes over.
I'm really surprised at the fear.

Mind you, I listen to the radio as I'm working at my computer and every half hour I get the FEAR at the beginning of each news broadcast. One idiot DJ spent about 5 minutes yesterday at the beginning of his show saying how he thought we'd make it through this, ... he was pretty sure we could make it though this. What a pile of shit. I'm not saying he or anyone else is part of a conspiracy, but the fear just takes over and they get silly.

We'll see what the reaction is tomorrow.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Yes, shutting down for a week may well stop more getting flu
There could easily be some kids who have already been infected by the probable case; if they stay home for a week, they will meet substantially fewer people than at school, and thus infect fewer of them.

The week after that, the kids will either have developed the symptoms if they have flu, and can thus be treated individually; or they won't, in which case they weren't infected in the first place.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Those little farts will go to the movies and get reinfected.

Keeping the kids home isn't going to help the situation, since they're probably not going to stay "home" all week. They'll go to the mall and get sneezed on by the janitor, or the popcorn guy at the films will put his flu germs on their extra large bucket.

Or, even if they do play "Boy In The Bubble" all week, their parents will come home from their jobs and pass on the flu they find out in the Big Bad World to them.

Feel sick? Stay home. Use abundance of caution. It's easier than inconveniencing everyone.

I hope they've got the janitors going through that school and cleaning every desktop, window sill and doorknob, too--so long as they're being overly-cautious....
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:17 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Do you want them to "use abundance of caution" or not?
They're being cautious by closing the school for a week. People can be infectious a day or so before symptoms develop:

It takes between one and four days (average two days) to go from being infected to having the full symptoms. People with flu are usually infectious a day before symptoms start and remain infectious for approximately five days after the start of the flu symptoms. Children and people with lowered immune systems may remain infectious for longer. You should therefore try to avoid all unnecessary contact with others during the infectious period.

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Flu/Pages/Introduction.asp...


A school is an excellent place to spread infectious diseases - lots of people in close contact, people eating in communal areas and touching communal objects around the time they put things into their mouths, and so on. Most parents pick up infections from their children, not the other way round, in my experience. So suspending a school for a week may well limit the spread.

Now, if it turns out this flu isn't particularly dangerous, then they may decide it can just be treated like a typical seasonal flu outbreak - if healthy people get it, it isn't the end of the world in that case. But with the initial reports of it killing a lot of people in Mexico, a bit of caution has looked like a wise thing.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. A mall is an excellent place to spread infectious diseases, too.
So's a movie theater. So's a workcenter.

Might be a good opportunity to teach kids "flu hygiene" at school--cover mouth, cough into elbow, wash hands, wash hands and wash hands, stay home if you feel iffy, wear mask if you suspect you've been in contact with someone who might be sick, be aware that everything you touch, from the phone to the doorknob to the keyboard, could be loaded with germs, that kind of stuff.

If "Children and people with lowered immune systems may remain infectious for longer" than the "one and four days (average two days) to go from being infected to having the full symptoms," then these kids could be coming back to school just in time to start spreading "Round Two" of the Great American Flu Scare. Then, it'll be lather, rinse, repeat.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #16
21. No, because they develop symptoms a day after starting to be infectious
So after a week, they'll know who caught the flu in the school when it was open earlier. Remaining infectious happens after the symptoms. Those, you tell to stay home longer.

Contact in a mall, or a workplace, isn't as much as in a school (unless you work in a school, of course). Plus, people are told to come to school, unlike a mall or movie theater; there's an aspect of "is the government telling me to go to a crowded place with many possibly infectious people in it?". And you know the population of a school from the time the infectious person was there, and it's easy to say "you're the people who need to isolate yourselves for a few days", and do a large part of that just by shutting the school. It's next to impossible to do that for a place where different people turn up everyday, and don't get recorded in any way.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. What ever happened to "use your own good judgment?"
The source you provided said that kids could "incubate" longer before becoming sick. So a kid catches it, goes home with it, is a "long incubator" and shows up back at school just in time to sneeze on a bunch of other kids. Voila--you're back to Square One.

And there's plenty of "contact" at those funky mall food courts, where the kids hang out in droves, and tables aren't always wiped, and if they are, it's often with a nasty old rag with little to no disinfectant properties. And then, there's those arcades the kids go into, with all the buttons and joysticks--that's a soup of potential germs.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. "arcades the kids go into"

Do those still exist?

I haven't seen one of those in ages.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. They have wii-type crap in there now, and driving games, and guitar hero.
A lot of them closed down, but they're starting to acquire a sort of 'retro' cachet, and they're on the upswing again.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20081122/news_1...
http://arcadeheroes.com/master-arcade-release-list-for-... /

It's cheap entertainment, relatively speaking, if you don't go overboard.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #23
29. No, it says nothing about 'longer incubation'
It says kids may remain infectious longer - ie after symptoms develop. It says:

1 to 4 days from being infected to developing symptoms
Become infectious 1 day before developing symptoms
Remain infectious 5 days (or more, for children) after developing symptoms

So, a week after the possible infection in the school, everyone who was infected will have clearly developed the symptoms. They should remain at home even when the school reopens. But if you tell everyone they should go to school all the time, some will walk around symptomless, but infectious, for a day, infecting others, who will also then go through a day of infecting others, and so on.

Again, the untraceable and voluntary nature of a mall makes both the possibility and moral necessity
of closing them a completely different matter. It'd help the community if the kids didn't swap snot at the mall, but there's a lot of difference between the government ordering children to turn up to school, to be in contact with people known to have been in contact with an infected person, or allowing them to go to the mall where they may or may not meet any such person.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #29
49. Your cite says they can be infectious BEFORE symptoms develop, though.
People with flu are "usually" infectious a day before symptoms start and remain infectious for approximately five days after the start of the flu symptoms. Children and people with lowered immune systems may remain infectious for longer. You should therefore try to avoid all unnecessary contact with others during the infectious period.

It says they remain infectious for longer, but it doesn't decisively say "when." Also, when words like "usually" are trotted out, there's always "unusual" cases to consider. They could very well remain infectious for longer before they start showing symptoms.

The government doesn't have to "order" people to go to school--or not go to school. They could try the "Stay home if you feel lousy" approach--like Obama suggested on the Tee Vee. You know, the old "personal responsibility" approach.

Giving the kids a week's vacation will simply give the kids who have the flu but aren't yet showing symptoms, or who are masking their symptoms with Day-Quil, or who have mild symptoms because they've had flu shots over the years (which some sources say do provide an element of protection) an opportunity to spread it elsewhere.

I think this article is MOST instructive, from a physician who lived in China during the SARS outbreak. We could use a little less panic and hype, and a little more common sense like this, IMO: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/weekinreview/03rosent...

In 2003, as SARS was spreading across Asia, I was posted in Beijing. Many families fled. My childrens school the International School of Beijing was one of the very few in the city to stay open, although my daughters class of 25 dwindled below 10. For the children who remained, the school instituted strict policies the ones that schools promote all the time but never really enforce. For parents, the first was: Dont send your child to school sick. For students, it was: Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly during the day before meals, after recess. No one got SARS. But more than that, the stomach bugs and common colds that are the bane of elementary schools all over the world disappeared as well. .....Also, avoid touching things that lots of other people touch door knobs and escalator handrails, for example and then touching your nose or mouth. Having worked in an emergency room, I got into the habit.

Masks are for when you cant avoid a closed space during a serious outbreak when, say, you need to travel by a crowded bus or plane or subway. In 2003 I had a mask in my bag as I traveled to severely affected cities across Asia, but wore it only rarely. When transmitting an infectious disease through the air, a patient is generally sneezing or coughing. During the height of the SARS outbreak in China, if a nearby passenger exhibited symptoms, I moved to another part of the subway or plane.

....With swine flu, rightly and thankfully, were in full-disclosure mode. We get nearly minute-by-minute statistics. But people should understand exactly what information they are receiving. Potential pandemics make good headlines; hardworking scientists do not. People wearing masks make for great pictures; a school in Queens where children are returning to their classrooms does not.

As a physician, as a student of public health and even as a journalist, I cringe when I see the swine flu, or H1N1, called the deadly virus. Evidence to date does not suggest that it is any more deadly than the average flu. And there is this sentence that I have so often seen: The World Health Organization has not declared a pandemic yet. The sentence would be fine and impart just as much known information without presuming what the future holds if it dropped the final word, yet.




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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #49
60. 'remain' means after the symptoms have started. They have used 'remain' for that period already
The government already does order people to go to school, in the normal run of things. "Stay home if you feel lousy" doesn't cover the period when you're infectious before the symptoms start. The 'personal responsibility' bit is where they don't go to the mall instead - the 'quarantine' that article talks about. But telling children and staff they have to turn up to a school where several people are known to have been in contact with someone infectious would be a bloody awful idea - I can't see why you think it would be the best thing to do, at all. Pretending that the children would come into contact with more people if they didn't go to school is pretty silly.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #60
62. I continue to feel that you're mistaken about this.
Most families aren't Beaver and Wally. Parents work. Little kids are going to be clumped into ad-hoc babysitting arrangements during this week, if they're young, not sitting in their homes, supervised by "mom," under quarantine--and they will remain at risk for transmitting infection to one another. If they're older, they're going to that mall, even if they're told to stay home, or that Starbucks, or whereever kids hang out at the weekend--and they're going to hang out with their friends, and touch stuff, to include stuff with viruses on it.

Personal responsibility, you see, falls on the PARENTS--who might keep "a" kid home if it's just a few days out of the work week. However, most of these parents can't, en masse, take a week off of work to mind their children without perhaps being at risk of losing their jobs. So what will they do? They'll find some neighbor with a domestic, and dump all the kids over at that house, and pay the poor maid a little extra. It's shifting the problem for awhile, but it's not helping.

I really think if the school under threat of SARS in China, in the article I provided, could manage to REDUCE transmission of even little sniffles and stomach bugs with a little hand washing and education, our schools could perhaps muster up the brainpower to do the same. It's not rocket science.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #62
64. But they won't be put into a room with 30 other people for hours
and then walking about, playing, and eating, with hundreds of other people. And nor will the government have told them to put themselves in contact with so many people, by telling them to go to school.

Note that, in your example, most of the children didn't go to that school. And it doesn't actually say that someone in the school had caught SARS - just that when there was concern about SARS, that one school, and a few others, stayed open anyway. There's a lot of difference between a school with no known cases, and only 40% of people attending anyway, and a school with a known case.

Your article says:
Which is why public health officials are frantically performing contact tracing and surveillance to track where the outbreak is going. It is the best way to head off something worse and help society prepare.

They have a probable case in that school. If officials are "performing contact tracing and surveillance", do you really think that it's just so they can tell those individuals to wash their hands? The handwashing is for the vast majority of us who haven't, as far as we know, come into contact with a sufferer. The people who have been in contact are being asked to stay at home for a few days, because they're far more likely to spread it than the rest of us.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #64
65. I'm guessing more people stroll through malls than through schools
on a given day, depending upon the size of the school.

They had a "probable case" at a hospital nearby, that turned out to be a false alarm. Are we going to be shutting down schools due to "probable" cases? And they're not asking these people for a couple of days, they're asking them to take a week off. How can parents afford to take a week off work? Answer--they can't. Kids will be left unsupervised and they'll get into mischief. And they won't stay home, either.

A couple of idiots on planes thought they had the flu, so they diverted the planes to Boston--both of those "possibles" were false alarms.

I think this thing is being overhyped. It's sure a money churning exercise, though. "The flu" kills thirty six thousand people every year. So far, the only kid I've heard of who's died in the US is that kid who came over the border from Mexico for treatment.
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #11
37. Of course, by the time a person shows symptoms of the illness, he will have
Edited on Sat May-02-09 12:21 PM by tblue37
already been contagious during the incubation stage--about 1-4 days That's why you can't prevent the spread of the illness just by avoiding sick people. People who don't seem sick and who don't even know they're sick can be incubating the virus for several days before showing any symptoms, and thus infect a whole host of people.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #37
46. And that's my point. You can't avoid it by avoiding people who look well, either. NT
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #46
51. I was agreeing with you and adding back up. nt
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. I know--Thank you! nt
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:42 AM
Response to Original message
3. In Japan, my nephew has a fever and almost all hospitals told him not to come there.
In Japan, you go to a hospital when you are sick, but almost all hospitals have told him not to come. Wow.
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:45 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. What do you think that means?
Are the hospital staff afraid for themselves? for their patients?
Will they send someone to his home instead to avoid his spreading the bug on public transport?
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
56. This is why most big hospitals
were given pop up tent ER's here in case of a pandemic. This will avoid having someone with a contagious respiratory disease from infecting the hospital staff who then will infect their patients.
The separate ER will handle these cases. Good infection control or at least the best that can be done as has been mentioned here, people will be shedding virus before showing symptoms.
I am glad we are having mild cases. It will help those who have to deal with this find the holes in the system for the time when we do have a virulent highly infectious bug start circulating.
The last pandemic plan I saw was to preserve the hospitals for non flu emergencies but that has been a few years ago. I don't know if it has changed since.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:57 AM
Response to Original message
10. Limbaugh is impressed too.. along with all the paranoid "don't let Obama
take your guns" crowd.

http://mediamatters.org/countyfair/200904270018?show=1&...
Limbaugh conspiracy theory: flu issue is "designed to get people to respond to government orders"
Published Mon, Apr 27, 2009 1:50pm ET by Media Matters staff

Limbaugh also asks: "At any one time, how many people in this country have the flu? I mean the flu's a common thing"
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
12. "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." - Chomsky
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #12
31. That's a GREAT quote
What article or book does it come from?
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #31
35. Ole Uncle Chomsky's likely used it numerous x since the 1960s
Are you familiar w/Noam? A cursory Google search will provide oodles of literature, audio/video, etc. He's been a prominent dissident voice re American politics since the 1960s, even though he began as a renown linguist.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #35
41. Of couse I'm familiar with him
I studied his linguistic works, but not his political and socio-political stuff.

I was just wondering if there was a specific work that expanded on that quote.

I really should get off my ass and read some of his books.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #41
77. "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously"
You can read Understanding Power online:"
http://www.understandingpower.com /

That's a good, comprehensive compilation. Other's I'd recommend: What Uncle Sam Really Wants, Necessary Illusions, Propaganda And The Public Mind, and one of my favorites, Chomsky On Anarchism

Audio/video: http://www.chomsky.info/audionvideo.htm

Plenty to be found here: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Chomsky/Noam_Chomsky....

The doc film Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky & The Media:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-56318823952268...

Here's a twenty min film that offer a snapshot of his primary criticisms of our govt and corporate culture. I've recommended this one for those who may have heard of Chomsky, but are basically unfamiliar w/his views:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=676452061991429...
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #77
78. Thanks
Edited on Sun May-03-09 09:13 AM by Canuckistanian
I'll use this as a starting point.

Much appreciated.
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Mark Twain Girl Donating Member (410 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #12
42. A quote that says it all. nt
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #12
80. Yup. (n/t)
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:12 AM
Response to Original message
14. we need to do this every year---"36,000" die each yr in the usa
did`t those people deserve to have the country locked down?

yes it is quite impressive
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. Eh, they were OLD, you see. Who cares about those OLD people?
It's only when a flu pops up that takes the young and seemingly healthy that people sit up and really take notice. Geezer flu? Eh, who cares?
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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:34 AM
Response to Original message
17. Within the context of this thread.
If it is true the media is over hyping this, like they over hype every distractions.

(remember before the 2004 election where they showed lines of people unable to get flue shots because the supply was low. This is not new.)

But anyway, if they are already playing the pandemic card, assuming it is hype, they are running out of scare tactics.

And this, although providing a short term distraction in the media, does not help the overall agenda of those against things like health care reform.

I am not trying to minimize the suffering or heart ache of those that have suffered loss in health issues through the years, but I am also dismayed at how quickly fear is presented to the population.

We saw nothing of this 'news story' even though the people in Mexico had reported health issues for months, then all of a sudden its 24/7. It seems the news is just one shark attack after another.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
20. So the logic here is that because just a thing could be used to pacify...
...then that must be the reason it's being done.

And if a flu scare caused people to drink more orange juice, that would prove that a cabal of orange growers started the flu scare and manipulated their media puppets to do their bidding?

And if a flu scare caused people to eat more chicken because they're afraid pork is dangerous that would prove a cabal of chicken farmers started the flu scare and manipulated their media puppets to do their bidding?

This flu scare is making more people stay home, which must be improving the ratings for daytime TV shows, therefore... well, you know.
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. No, that wasn't my point.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 08:28 AM by Prometheus Bound
1. I am talking about Hong Kong not the U.S.

2. I have considerable respect for the Hong Kong government, the Health Department and the Police, despite the lack of democracy here.

3. I don't suspect a conspiracy.

4. Since SARS in 2003 the HK govt has been making considerable preparations for just this sort of situation. They're probably better prepared for a pandemic than any other city on earth. What they are doing is applying the precautions they have put in place since 2003.

However, I can't help but notice how effective the FEAR is. I just heard a another group of DJs open their nine o'clock show discussing the situation and concluding "Well, all we can do is depend on the government to protect us." And that is basically the way everyone feels, I'm sure.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noticed how passive people are about accepting whatever measures the govt wants to take to 'protect them'. It's almost as effective as the 'I'll protect you from the terrorists' meme. It could be very easily abused. I suspect it will be.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #22
33. People do not "passively accept" the measures. They actively demand them.
There's enormous public pressure to prevent pandemics both in Hong Kong and in Mexico. People eagerly do whatever they can to avoid the crisis turning into a disaster. Heck, Hong Kong is a society like Japan in that sick people regularly wear masks to avoid infecting others. They rightly treat quarantines as a tool of the public good, where Americans would fear them (as you do) as an ominous threat by Big Brother.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
24. The "feel ill, stay home" is nice advice for those who can do it.
Millions of American workers cannot afford to stay at home and miss work. That could mean the difference between eating or not eating the next day, or even keeping their job. Keep your sick kid home from school? Again, many working Americans would then face the choice of having to miss work themselves or having to pay for daycare. Do they then go out and pick bill off their magic money tree?

This is just like tossing out the casual and well meaning advice of "see your primary healthcare provider" which is great for those who actually have health insurance, but what about the millions without health insurance? When giving out what is good and otherwise well meaning advice consideration must be given to the millions of people who simply are unable to follow that advice.
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NJmaverick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #24
27. Sorry but I don't agree. When you go to work you INFECT OTHERS
Infecting other people is morally wrong.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #27
38. It's nice to be moralistic, but in reality there are people who have no choice.
I'm sorry if this is difficult to understand, but it is true. It is also morally wrong not to be able to feed your family or lose your job if you do not work.
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NJmaverick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. There is always choices, it's the foundation of ethics
You also are guilty of creating a false choice. Their are social safety nets in place that will prevent the starvation that you so dramatically discuss.


Instead of telling me that your ideas are "difficult to understand" you can take the time to develop a deeper understanding of field of ethics as well as the true implications of those choices. I have a real problem with infecting others and putting them in a position so they can not feed their families.

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TheMachineWins Donating Member (155 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #40
44. We live in a country that tortures and doesn't hold them accountable
Explain how ethics has anything to do with our culture.
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NJmaverick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 05:09 AM
Response to Reply #44
74. That is an illogical and irrational argument. One I will not entertain
although it's the sort of argument that those that torture would use.
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NYC Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #38
59. But going to work sick, and infecting potentially many others thereby causing THEM to miss work
is better?
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #24
72. I wrote my critter and pointed out we need single payer
for those reasons, as well as labor laws that will allow you to stay home, get paid, and not infect others

We have a window, use it or loose it
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NJmaverick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
26. Public Health has always had extraordinary powers when it comes to quarantine
that is nothing new, it's been that way for a very long time.

Here is what happened to Typhoid Mary roughly 100 years ago:


The New York City Health Department sent Dr. Sara Josephine Baker to talk to Mary, but "by that time she was convinced that the law was wantonly persecuting her when she had done nothing wrong."<2> A few days later, Baker arrived at Mary's place of work with several police officers and took her into custody. The New York City health inspector investigated and found her to be a carrier. Using powers granted by sections 1169 and 1170 of the Greater New York Charter, Mallon was held in isolation for three years at a hospital located on North Brother Island. Eventually, a new health commissioner decided that Mallon could be freed from quarantine on condition that she agreed to no longer work as a cook and would take reasonable steps to prevent transmitting typhoid to others. Eager to regain her freedom, Mallon accepted these terms and conditions. On February 19, 1910 Mallon agreed that she "is prepared to change her occupation (that of cook), and will give assurance by affidavit that she will upon her release take such hygienic precautions as will protect those with whom she comes in contact, from infection". As a result, she was released from quarantine and returned to the mainland.

However, she had been given a job as a laundress, which paid lower wages than her previous occupation as a cook. Mallon concealed her true identity by adopting the pseudonym "Mary Brown", returned to her previous occupation as a cook, and in 1915 infected 25 people while working as a cook at New York's Sloane Hospital for Women; one of those infected died. Public health authorities again tracked down and arrested Mary Mallon, returning her to quarantine on the island. Mallon was confined there for the rest of her life. She became something of a minor celebrity, and was interviewed by journalists who were forbidden to accept as much as a glass of water from her. Later in life, she was allowed to work in the island's laboratory as a technician


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Mallon
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
32. This your first brush with Asia and possible pandemics?
Edited on Sat May-02-09 10:26 AM by Occam Bandage
I visited China months after the SARS crisis. There were still cops with infrared-sensing guns in all the airports, train stations, and patrolling around crowded areas, ready to question, detain, quarantine and/or deport anyone with an elevated body temperature.
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #32
36. I've been living in Hong Kong since 1993 and through SARS.
Only one housing complex was quarantined during SARS.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
39. i think you raise an interesting point given the vacuum of leadership in HHS; and legacy Bush hacks
Edited on Sat May-02-09 12:29 PM by nashville_brook
scare tactics were the stock and trade of the neocons. republicans in congress have been holding up Obama's appointments to health-related cabinet positions. the flu scare could be the product that group of bureaucrats' last hurrah. go out with a bang, and all that.

obama's only been in office 103 days and i'm sure there's people who want him to know that he doesn't have control of everything yet. FIX News lives off of undermining our perception that Obama has things well in hand. perhaps the hype is intended to make him look weak -- or generally make the public feel fearful. There's a weird Batman quality to this scare as if iGotham City is being threatened by the Joker, again. yea verily, i think it's only rational to note the disparity between the 'scare' and the actual flu that Americans are experiencing. it's not local until everyone in your office has it. or, anyone. and so far no one i know in Orlando or Melbourne knows anyone with the flu. it's just another beautiful day in paradise.

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TheMachineWins Donating Member (155 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
43. 1 step away from putting people in camps
Suppose the president ordered everyone with the flu quarantined, assuming of course that it wouldn't happen in a place like NYC where the money lost would be too great. It could easily happen in Utah, Nevada, N. Dakota or some other lesser populated state. It's all about the money the big machine makes, democracy only exists in fantasy.
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
47. Nothing but a net, and your fear to sell.
Swooooooooooooooooooooosh. You do it well.
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #47
58. I thought I was promoting the rejection of fear not selling it.
Because if we buy it, at some point someone will take advantage of it. As some have pointed out above, look at how long that worked after 911.

In fact, I have nothing but respect for the way the Hong Kong authorities are handling the situation.
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
48. Look how well 9/11 did!
We're still scared spitless from that, and that was eight years ago.
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Dark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
50. Umm, you do realize that Hong Kong is part of China now?
And China is already a police state...

Don't be paranoid. Leave that to the repubs
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #50
55. I've been living in Hong Kong for 16 years and there's no way you can call it a police state.
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Dark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #55
67. But China is. And they control it. So they can do whatever they want to Hong Kong and people in it.
I'd think people there would at least keep that on a "back burner".
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #67
70. No they can't.
Hong Kong is controlled by Hong Kong people.

The rule of law is respected in Hong Kong and not interfered with by China.

I'm certain that does not have any effect on how HK people are responding to what's happening.
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Dark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 04:26 AM
Response to Reply #70
73. Umm. Hong Kong is the property of China. That's a fact.
China would screw them over in an instant to protect itself -- and it has the authority to do so.

The fact that that doesn't register on its citizens would make me worry if I lived there.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:24 PM
Response to Original message
61. Hong Kong is not in America. nt
Edited on Sat May-02-09 05:26 PM by anonymous171
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #61
63. It's good we got that sorted out.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
66. The powers that be know how to control the masses-fear does it every time.
:puke:
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
68. One observation for you, or maybe two
I have yet to see this panic you speak off...not even in ahem the country most affected.

I know the conspiracy thinking is thick round these parts... but perhaps you can answer this? Why is Obama doing this? Bush, yep absolutely, but tell me why is Obama doing this? What is his angle here? I want a logical one, not the usual tin foil hattery we tend to hear round these parts.

Perhaps the threat is real? Just a thought.

And fer real, health care emergencies are contained with draconian measures. Fact is, this country has no memory and 1968 was a LONG TIME AGO... like oh shit two generations ago. (and it was mild too, compared to 1957 which was mild compared to 1918... which you can only read in history books. Perhaps the people still alive are in one hand... alas no first hand memories.)
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #68
69. Did you accidently reply to the wrong thread?
1. I did not mention a panic.

2. I did not mention a conspiracy, and in one post I mentioned specifically I did not suspect a conspiracy.

3. I did not say the threat was not real.

So what are you talking about?
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #69
71. Fear control population
that is the point

GIven that the economic cost will be huge, for mexico alone already over 1B... I think fear and control is far from their thinking here

And that is the point I wanted to make...


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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 05:28 AM
Response to Original message
75. Hong Kong got hit pretty hard by SARS
Probably had something to do with it, don't you think?
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #75
76. Yes, true, but my point is that this can happen anywhere and people would accept it.
I don't mean that HK has become a police state. I actually agree with what the authorities have done. I believe most people in most cities would if they felt threatened. And you're right, HK undoubtedly feels more vulnerable because of Sars.

But I can't help wondering if a few authoritarian types in governments around the world might be looking at this and thinking what I'm thinking.
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
79. I imagine we all...
I imagine many will strongly hold onto those interpretive consequences which better validate one's world-views-- just like the Rapture Ready crowds, or a guy wearing a sandwich board that reads, "the end is near...".

I don't see it as impressive though, merely successful marketing by the dystopic crowd distributing hack science fiction movies. I imagine those are the guys that are drooling.
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