Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Dealing with the Threat of Avian Flu

As you undoubtedly know, there is a very good blog dealing with updates concerning avian flu. The blog is worth visiting. Avian flu is a reasonably high risk:

The deadly avian flu virus is slowly but surely making its way around the world.

It now appears all but inevitable that it will arrive in North America this year or next, via migrating birds or, more likely, unwitting travellers, as with SARS in 2003.

The virus has already ravaged the poultry stocks of Southeast Asia and millions of peoples' livelihoods. It has also begun to kill other animals, including pigs, tigers and civet cats.

More forebodingly, if still only sporadically, it has crossed over into humans.

In the last two years, at least 109 people have caught the respiratory virus after being in close contact with diseased poultry. With little or no immunity — and no vaccine — about 60 of them died. Perhaps more.
BenS [a noted hypochondriac] has contributed these light-hearted suggestions for dealing with the threat:
  • Don’t travel; stay away from the West Coast;
  • do not eat free range poultry;
  • don’t kiss or handle university students,
  • wear a mask when out in public (so you won’t scare anybody),
  • do not enter wildlife areas where geese are flying above,
  • go to an automatic car wash daily to have bird droppings washed off,
  • put up scarecrows on your lawn,
  • wash your hands with battery acid before sampling at Costco and Whole Foods,
  • carry a battery-operated fan to move breaths away from you in crowds,
  • don’t enter crowds,
  • stay out of movie theatres where you can get polio, too,
  • befriend a poverty-stricken pharmacist with a huge hidden cache of anti-flu drugs,
  • check the internet every five minutes,
  • visit your local friendly epidemiologist frequently with gifts and ask him to put you on his list for urgent bulletins.

    You can read what I wrote earlier about avian flu here.
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