Saturday, May 02, 2009

Two Weeks and Still No Pandemic

Gail Collins in today's NY Times:
If you interview a scientist about almost anything, they will tell you there is some level of risk. A while back, I talked to a prominent physicist who carefully explained that although the odds against all the oxygen molecules suddenly racing over to clump on one side of the room were really, really, really high, it could happen. And that if it did, it would be most unpleasant.

Anything might happen. The flu could suddenly become superlethal. Or, as we have learned from decades of movie-going, it could be innocuous on the surface but then turn its victims into zombies or giant walking cornstalks. And if any of that happens, I want you to remember that I said it was a serious concern.
Right now it's looking like this flu might not be quite so bad as the pandemic of 1918-19, which killed 25-100 million (depending on where you read it). Thank goodness for that. Governments were right to be concerned, though.

1 comment:

troutay said...

I think it has been a slow news week, and fear makes for good ratings.
I believe it is serious, but I also believe in caution. Stirring up the populous to such a degree (see the Sheriff in Arizona) that they become
hostile (or more so) to anyone coming from south of the border is another "them against us" thing.

Glad to have you back!