Flu of misinformation and hypocrisy

An article from Ovi magazine

Conspiracy theories are not my thing and I have to admit that I always laughed at most of them. After all, turning to conspiracy theories means that you’re having problems accepting logic, ignoring how crazy any theory might sound. Back in the eighties when HIV AIDS stormed into our lives, especially when the first celebrities were caught in the storm, conspiracy theories blossomed. CIA had created the virus and lost control; there was even a laboratory somewhere in the USA that had created the virus as a lethal weapon against gays. Everybody seemed to forget that even cancer has existed throughout history, but doctors only identified it the last three centuries, and started focusing on it and doing research.

Humanity has experienced a lot of illnesses throughout history, many of them lethal. Illnesses often also became the focus of superstition, for instance the plague was blamed on Satan and heretics during the medieval period, instead of the lack of hygiene in the growing cities. Recently, Robert Mugabe, Africa’s caricature Hitler, blamed British intelligence for the cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe, instead of his own inability to help the people with basic needs such as clean water and food. The common factor in these cases, and I suppose in the majority of all cases, is not any kind of conspiracy theory, but the lack of necessary action. With this I mean distributing the right kind of information to deal with the problem – which points directly at the states and this is not … a conspiracy theory!

There is no conspiracy theory behind the swine flu and scientists have, often cynically, used their logic to explain in detail how the flu started and how it expands. They have exhibited studies and statistics that are not new – there is nothing new about swine flu – and they have explained defences and all that with the help of the World Health Organization, WHO. Doctors have been warned and informed on local levels, and most of them are prepared to deal with it. But despite all the information, people have stopped eating pork, and the number of flu victims is increasing internationally, adding one dead in USA and twelve in Mexico.

When I wrote that people have stopped buying pork meat, I was not joking. Actually the US Government, joined by Russia, China and another fifteen countries, have imposed restrictions on pork products imports from Mexico – I suppose you never know what a well made pork chop might give you. The best of all was when American Vice President Joe Biden said in a televised interview that he would not let his family fly by plane or be in an enclosed public place, like a cinema, while this thing is still going on. Biden’s interview was broadcast in the news all around the world. I saw them in Finland, and especially these comments gave the message that if the American vice president prefers to keep his family indoors to protect them, I better not move from my room!

The swine flu, according to most scientists, is not lethal, and I trust they know what they are talking about. Its lethality depends on the prevention and treatment of suspected patients, as well as the patient’s immune system. But apart from babies and very young people, or if somebody has serious problems with their immune system, swine flu is not the only enemy. So here we have, once again, misinformation and mishandled situations, from the very people that are obliged to protect us from exactly these situations, leading us to widespread panic!

Because how is anybody supposed to react to Biden’s comments and the American administration’s restrictions on import of pork products from Mexico, if not with panic?

The Mexican government correctly demands explanations from the governments of the states that put on these restrictions. The Mexicans are demanding explanations based on a scientific basis, highlighting the fact that consumers are not likely to check the origin of the pork steak or pork sausage they buy from the supermarket – they will just quit buying any pork product! Amazing! The EU on the other hand, tries to be clever by using marketing tricks and changing the name of the flu from swine flu to …a novel flu virus! Wow, that will definitely solve all the problems! Personally I have to admit that I have never seen a sausage or a pork steak sneeze at me, and if I ever see that I will definitely start believing that aliens have taken over the main governments and that together with Hoover they are all responsible for J.F. Kennedy’s assassination!

What the World Health Organization has failed to protect us from is the flu of misinformation and hypocrisy!

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