Saturday, May 13, 2006
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More good news about avian flu
The New York Times' Donald McNeil Jr reports on an encouraging trend in the place where avian flu started:
Even as it crops up in the far corners of Europe and Africa, the virulent bird flu that raised fears of a human pandemic has been largely snuffed out in the parts of Southeast Asia where it claimed its first and most numerous victims.If we are very, very lucky, the fear of an avian flu pandemic will be akin to fears about the imact of the Y2K bug -- serious and real, but successfully contained through the necessary policy responses. posted by Dan on 05.13.06 at 05:43 PM
"If we are very, very lucky, the fear of an avian flu pandemic will be akin to fears about the imact of the Y2K bug -- serious and real, but successfully contained through the necessary policy responses. "
No, unless we are very, very unlucky Avian flu will go down as yet another overblown media circus that distracted us away from much more certain dangers.posted by: Mark Buehner on 05.13.06 at 05:43 PM [permalink]
The flu is just hype. Lets all move along...
Wannabeleaderposted by: Wannabeleader on 05.13.06 at 05:43 PM [permalink]
Hmm...you might just want to keep your eye on the story about the latest Indonesian cluster....posted by: MarkW on 05.13.06 at 05:43 PM [permalink]
The flu is not hype. It's a stock promotion scam to enrich Rumsfeld.posted by: jerry on 05.13.06 at 05:43 PM [permalink]
The Y2K bug was neither serious nor real, and therefore was not "contained through the necessary policy responses." That's not to say that certain things needed to be corrected here and there, but the reality did not match the hysteria.
Wasn't there a news article or broadcast that showed how Italy devoted much less time and resources to Y2K than the U.S. yet was just as unaffected by the supposed coming catastrophe?
The hype was spread by people unfamiliar with computers and programming. "Omigod, our systems have bugs! How could we have let that happen?!?"
I hate to break this to them, but the computers all around us (not to mention in space and on Mars even) all have bugs right this instance. And some of them are serious and will need to be corrected. But that was always the case -- before, during, and after the year 2000.posted by: Roy on 05.13.06 at 05:43 PM [permalink]
As soon as ABC put out that TV movie about the bird flu hammering America, I declared the threat officially over. If other networks make their own versions, I'll feel even better.posted by: Justin on 05.13.06 at 05:43 PM [permalink]
Well, as for Y2K, most of the coding was a result of the systems being written during the Reagan Administration. At that time, nobody thought that civilization would make it to the year 2000.posted by: don Hosek on 05.13.06 at 05:43 PM [permalink]
Avian flu was always a low-probability / high-consequence threat. That's not to say that the response didn't help, just that it's difficult to determine how much is due to the response and how much is simply a case of the threat not materializing for other reasons. Anyway, I disagree with your "very, very lucky" statement.posted by: Adrian on 05.13.06 at 05:43 PM [permalink]
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