Bird Flu For Christmas

From Diamond Geezer

Hi Mum. Hi Dad.

Sorry, but for the first time in my life I'm not able to be with you this Christmas. At least it's not my fault, it's that damned bird flu. Even if I was allowed to leave London, which I'm not, I don't think I'd ever be able to get round the Felixstowe Exclusion Zone. I've heard they shoot people who try to cross the M25 now…

A really powerful read, more of it on his Blog.

29 thoughts on “Bird Flu For Christmas”

  1. Well… I'm looking forward to an easy Christmas – apparently the take-up of this years 'flu vaccination is really high (probably under the erroneous idea that it'll protect against bird 'flu). So this means that loads of people are going to be protected against what the W.H.O. consider to be this years big strains.

    Of course, this could all come to nothing, but I live in hope…

  2. I prefer to think of it as imagining what *could* happen. I mean, look how people went crazy over the mere thought of a petrol shortage…..and that ain't gonna kill you.

    At some point we are going to have a big epidemic of something nasty – it's happened through history, and it'll happen again. There isn't any point worrying about it, because we won't be able to stop it.

    The reason why I so liked DG's post was because it was written so matter of factly, and having seen some of the stuff coming out of New Orleans, all too believeable.

    But then – I just like speculative fiction…

    I for one shall be having very cheap chicken to eat tonight. Panics are good for me and my bank balance.

  3. I'm not courght up with all the hype I am afraid. well I am not afraid.in my little mind its another fad and will be over soon.

  4. You mean you actually know that there is a world outside the M25? That's more than most southerners.And as a Northerner I think it would be an excellent idea to keep you all pinned inside the M25. That way the rest of us can walk around without worrying.

    (Oh and btw, if you don't recognise the name Tom – I'm a 'friend' of Dr Dre)

  5. To be honest, I'm also not too worried either, while we should take sensible precautions it's not worth panicking over.I remember how we were all supposed to be dead of AIDS by now…

    To be honest, I think 120,000 people in the UK die of the normal 'flu each year, and the NHS can just about cope with the normal increase during the winter months.

    So I think the thing that'll be the new epidemic will come completely out of the blue.

  6. Oh I'd quite happily flood the M25 as a moat to keep all you 'Northerners' out, especially the 'Northerners' from Portsmouth.Obviously a joke…

  7. I keep reading all these “powerful” imaginary posts about birdflu and get the feeling the writers just want to be able to go “told you so” later on. I'm not sure exactly what I'm supposed to be doing to prepare for it, and as such why I am having aesop's fables 2.0 chucked in my face constantly like I'm the boy who cried wolf and didn't take his echinecea.Meh.

  8. Its great. Last nights paper 'Chicken off the menu' and 'chicken sales down 50%'.When I was a poor student and the BSE thing was full strength I ate steak daily for weeks, the butchers were giving it away.

    Looks like this time I get to eat some yummy chicken. Nothing like a bit of totally out of proprtion irrational panic to improve my diet.

    S

  9. Tom, you're of a certain age too I believe, do you perhaps remember a bbc series of the late 70's ewarly 80's (?) 'Survivors' dealth with the pandemic scene, v scarry at the time….watch our for those lumps under your armpits chaps. In the end the north maybe the safest place, the tundra north of watford should keep the virus at bat, cheers mate, Di

  10. That would be keep the virus at BAY of course, unless bats get bird flu which seems unlikely else it would be bat flu…..

  11. On my side of the pond, it would appear the commotion over bird flu is similar to the hysteria related to lack of flu shots here last year. There was mass panic everywhere & the “do not panic- here's how to avoid getting sick” broadcasts on the tv & the radio certainly helped raise the fear levels.There have been isolated reports locally about a run on Tamiflu, though.

  12. Does that mean KFC will close down or will the bucket meals and Xmas turkey be cheaper, with all the birds being ill.

  13. The 120,000 number sounds a little high, seeing as it's only 36,000 in the US (as they've told us over, and over, and over in the past few weeks) with 5 times the population.Now, Washington anyway, we're starting to get articles about how the risk of bird flu (and regular flu, for that matter) has been exagerrated.

    And (referring to a comment lower down), most of the “stuff coming out of New Orleans” has been found to be urban myth. Only four bodies were found at the Convention Center, 10 deaths (I think) at the Stadium, no gang rapes of children, no rescuers who thought people were shooting at them (although some people who were stranded have said that they fired off shots to attract a helicopter's attention–and I expect Coast Guard crews, accustomed to search-and-rescue, would interpret shots as such).

  14. My entire family has been getting flu shots for as long as I can remember. My brother and then my son were very sickly children, it was very necessary to take the utmost precautions around them especially in the winter months. I tried for years to get relatives and neighbors to get flu shots to no avail. Not this year, I don't know a person who hasn't had a flu shot yet….except me! I am having a hard time getting out of the house now…and haven't gone to do it yet….how times change….P.S. I am giving them all a really hard time over it also…reminding them of all the reasons and bull they gave me about flu shots for years…

    P.S.S. Excuse my writings…at times they are not very good my brain has little bubbles…I leave things out and spell things wrong when it does this….sorry…Sassy

  15. I'm sure it'll stay speculative too.We so rarely experience the apocalypses we predict. We usually endure sudden unexpected catastrophes instead.

    Cheers for the link, Tom.

  16. Just before the hurricane thing started I had a dream about armageddon. Well today I had several end of the world dreams. Wonder if that means we're set for yet another catastrophe.

  17. 120,000 is indeed too high. The estimation for deaths by Seasonal 'flu are 12,000So, can I pretend that extra '0' was a typo?

    And there are 31,600 'unneccesary' elderly deaths in the winter period.

    As for the New Orleans stuff, fair enough I must admit I haven't been keeping up with it – but having seen the recent run on petrol, I still think that people panic at the first sign of trouble.

    -Reynolds – Equal opportunities cynic…

  18. Tell me about it – I spent ages working with people with all sorts of disabilities and although we weren't there to give medical advice, the “thing to do” was advise them to ask their doctor about flu jabs, to take it up if possible and so on.Now all of a sudden I'm disabled, I find myself on the other side of the desk so to speak, and it's nearly November, and have I had my flu jab yet? erm… *looks shifty*

  19. Yers. Our govt is milking it for all it's worth to keep our minds off Iraq.How can you tell when a politician's lying? Their lips are moving.

  20. I heard a report suggesting that in previous pandemics, a large proportion of those contaminated by flue virus were in the 20 to 40 age range. This is a group that doesnt feature largely in the annual flu cull. Yes no need to panic but if it comes in the next six months the nation might be in deep trouble. 17 million doses wont cover it, so who gets left out? I would suggest its more important when faced with this kind of threat, to decide who gets left in! Who is more important to a nation a young child, a productive adult or a ninety year old patient in a nursing-home? Of course it all depends on how virulent the pathogen is and how successful relatively young people are in combating the infection. Hopefully evidence for this will show up close to the sight of first trans-mutation, and providing there is no great splatter effect, we should have time to address this moral dilemma, before the bugs start falling around our orifices.Your initial reaction to the figure 120,000 for flue related deaths was that you were not worried, but if this turned out to be the predicted deathrate, it would be ten times the normal range. I suggest that this would be something to realy worry about! That might mean your call rate would have to go up considerably, in order to cope with additional demand. Emergency planning will be going on right now to ensure that casualty reception will not get clogged up. Of course their would be plenty of volunteers to help in the care of patients, a certain wayof getting ones share of the anti viral medication!

  21. I heard a report suggesting that in previous pandemics, a large proportion of those contaminated by flue virus were in the 20 to 40 age range. This is a group that doesnt feature largely in the annual flu cull. Yes no need to panic but if it comes in the next six months the nation might be in deep trouble. 17 million doses wont cover it, so who gets left out? I would suggest its more important when faced with this kind of threat, to decide who gets left in! Who is more important to a nation a young child, a productive adult or a ninety year old patient in a nursing-home? Of course it all depends on how virulent the pathogen is and how successful relatively young people are in combating the infection. Hopefully evidence for this will show up close to the sight of first trans-mutation, and providing there is no great splatter effect, we should have time to address this moral dilemma, before the bugs start falling around our orifices.Your initial reaction to the figure 120,000 for flue related deaths was that you were not worried, but if this turned out to be the predicted deathrate, it would be ten times the normal range. I suggest that this would be something to realy worry about! That might mean your call rate would have to go up considerably, in order to cope with additional demand. Emergency planning will be going on right now to ensure that casualty reception will not get clogged up. Of course their would be plenty of volunteers to help in the care of patients, a certain wayof getting ones share of the anti viral medication!

  22. Batsgirl,You will be glad to know. I called the home nurse and ask if she could come to me and give me the Flu Shot. The answer was yes! As of Thursday I have had my flu. This last to have it this year I might add. I can't believe it!

  23. What makes me laugh, is all these people who get “flu” every year, who really just have a nasty cold or similar virus. Very few people I know have had flu more than once in their lives, and I have never had it.

  24. There's an easy test. You wave a 20 note at the sufferer. If they can get out of bed to grab it, they don't have flu.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *