Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Preparation is Key

Hypothetically speaking, say you were the president of a major world country. Or, you are the head of the national health organization in said country. In a neighboring country, a deadly strain of a flu virus breaks out and kills some people. World leaders begin calling it a global pandemic problem. What do you do? Do you assume and prepare for the worst, calling for a costly production of a vaccine, talk of closing the border of your neighboring country (whom you already have tenuous immigration problems with), recommend people cease non-essential travel to that country, and suggest closing schools? Or, do you assume that, like a lot of things like this, they will fizzle out before too much damage is done? Because if you choose the later option, somehow, THIS will be the strain that truly is a global pandemic that decimates the country. So, you have to prepare for the worst. I, in my own life, often assume the worst, but never quite prepare for it. That means I am worried, but never prepared, which brings more worry. Lesson learned: Preparation is key.

In my research and reading of the news for this hypothetical situation, I discovered that something similar happened in 1976. I don’t remember this, I wasn’t born I can honestly say, nor have I ever heard about it. Apparently a case of the swine flu broke out in the US killing one individual and infecting hundreds. Pres. Ford ordered a nationwide vaccination program (costing $135 million). Unfortunately, the vaccine caused some people to develop Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome, a paralyzing nerve disease. And nothing really happened with the flu (thus, I have never heard about it). Anyway, those are just the facts of that one case. I thought it was pretty interesting. Lesson learned: Preparation can backfire; You cannot be 100% prepared for everything and anything that could happen, but you can do your best...

Here’s the entire article:
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1894129,00.html

1 comment:

Amber said...

I'm the person they're talking about when they say they don't want to cause mass hysteria because I will panic. Nick thinks I'm way too worried but heck if I'm going to be stuck in my house without certain things! So I went and bought enough diapers and formula to last for awhile. Because it's not just a matter of whether or not we have an outbreak here and don't dare to leave our house. What if there's an outbreak in the city where the stuff is manufactured, and they have to close down? Even if we could go to the store, they might not have what we need. Call me paranoid, or crazy, or whatever, but dang-it, I am not about to try to figure out what to do without diapers!