The President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, has the H1N1 flu. He apparently contracted it at a summit last week in Argentina. Uribe reportedly is continuing his duties as that country’s chief executive by phone and the internet while he recovers from the sickness at home.
Don’t worry. The sky has not fallen on Colombia. The country’s infrastructure has not crumbled. That South American country’s economy has not ground to a halt. Life goes on. The country’s president is ill and he is recovering with proper treatment.
Maybe there’s a lesson here. Stop the hysteria. Take reasonable precautions, and treat those who become ill properly.
Yet somehow here in the United States, the world’s only remaining superpower seems unable to keep a possible outbreak of the flu in proper perspective. The recent, overblown “report” issued in mid-August by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology continues to be reported as fact, even though – as noted in this blog on Monday — the document was simply opining on one of many possible swine flu scenarios. And school districts around the country continue to take extreme measures, anticipating a calamity of historic proportions.
One major school district on Long Island, New York — Nassau County — for example, is planning to ban all human-to-human contact, including hand touching, “high fives,” and even “chest bumps” performed by football players following a touchdown.
Even as this school district is movng to implement such an unrealistic policy as “no human-to-human touching,” Nassau County health officials are reported to be stating publicly that ”hysteria should be avoided.” Local government officials have stated “they were more concerned about the possibility of widespread anxiety or panic” than they were about the “spread of swine flu” itself, even as they implement a policy designed to fans the flames. Oh well, let’s not let a little irony stand in the way of alarmism.