Hello readers. Thanks for bearing with me while I took a much needed vacation at home in Roanoke. I didn’t look at a newspaper, television, or allow myself to discuss Swine Flu at all…and it proved to be very restful indeed. But now, as I sit in the Roanoke Regional Airport…waiting for the fog to lift, it’s time to get back to work. Here is a snippet from a news article I read this morning about the WHO discussing moving to level 6, the last and highest pandemic threat level…

WHO chief Margaret Chan warned against over-confidence following a stabilization in the number of new cases of the H1N1 strain that has proved deadly in Mexico.

“Level 6 does not mean, in any way, that we are facing the end of the world. It is important to make this clear because (otherwise) when we announce level 6 it will cause an unnecessary panic,” she told Spanish newspaper El Pais.


Now for any of you who keep up with my Twitter feed…maybe you noticed the other day that I had a somewhat ominous sounding “tweet” along the lines of “panic and hysteria spread faster than the flu”. This thought occurred to me as I was sitting in LaGuardia on Thursday evening watching a news segment and you could just see how panicked everyone was…and how the media was feeding it.

I’m amused by this “unnecessary panic” I wonder exactly what kind of panic is necessary…

They keep saying things like… “no need to panic” but if they really meant it…they wouldn’t use the word panic…they would raise us to a Pandemic Threat Level 6…but panic is exactly what they want. Not a full scale break down of systems, rioting, and the apocalypse. But a little healthy dose of panic…a healthy dose of panic to take the eyes off of the economy.

“Not the end of the world,” says Margaret Chan — no, it’s not. It is just the sort of slight of hand thing the government and media need to get us to look the other way for two ticks.

Wow…I bet this sounds terribly conspiratorial of me. Apologies.

Maybe it’s because I’m sitting in an airport. Ugh. Anyway…I have on a spiffy new hat. So comment away. Not on the hat…on the blog.



  1. Sitting in the airport I guess you’ll like this Irish Times article from today about a visual artn art exhibit called The Infectious~~~~

    Where the odds are stacked in favour of contagion

    here’s an excerpt

    Its topicality is perfectly encapsulated in Epidemic Planet , a presentation of the work of a team of American, Belgian and Italian researchers who have devised models, based on air-travel hubs, charting the spread of influenza viruses around the globe. One slightly perplexing implication that can be drawn from their models is that, regardless of the source, infections tend to turn up pretty quickly in Australia. Another implication, strikingly borne out in responses to the Mexican influenza outbreak, is that the practicalities of containment quickly come to involve cultural, economic, political and ethical issues. Another installation allows us to tweak the parameters determining the spread of epidemics.

  2. Here are links to the Trinty College Exhibit


    INFECTIOUS IS TAKING HOLD. Watch the highlights here. Since opening on April 17th over 10,000 people have been exposed to INFECTIOUS at Science Gallery. Exploring mechanisms of contagion and methods of containment INFECTIOUS is Science Gallery’s flagship show. Check out the Irish Times slideshow from INFECTIOUS here. Find out more about INFECTIOUS here or find out about events here. Enter our INFECTIOUS competition running with where your ideas can go viral.

  3. Here is the link to the exhibit program guide

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